Re: AW: Ligatures fi and ffi

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Wed Jun 01 2005 - 11:58:22 CDT

  • Next message: James Kass: "Re: Ligatures fi and ffi"

    At 14:21 +0200 2005/06/01, Dominikus Scherkl wrote:
    > > Pardon? In which sense is ligature processing _required_? Do
    >> you mean that it is forbidden now to render "f" followed by
    >> "i" as two letters, without using a ligature?
    >_required_ not for latin, but for Arabic or Indian. Those languages
    >become almost unreadable without ligatures, and they using hundreds and
    >thousands of them.

    Suppose that we today started afresh, defining a universal character
    set with the intent to enable semantically correct electronic writing
    of natural languages. The ligatures would not be needed to be added
    at all, as long as there are simple rules for computing which
    ligatures or other renderings to use, because it would be much better
    to let the computer program to compute the correct rendering.
    Whenever a ligature is needed, the computer program would invoke a
    special glyph font, picking it out. This technique might require one
    to defining a special rendering character set, containing all glyphs,
    but also other rendering characters.

    >So this problem solved, it is very easy to additionaly support the few
    >handful of latin ligatures, isn't it?

    Different European languages have used different ligatures. Knuth,
    when making TeX, formalized typesetting of English, and provided the
    ligatures for this language. Then these ligatures propagated into
    various encodings, and finally into Unicode.

    Their addition, seems me, depends only on which rendering technology
    one intends to use. Originally, they were introduced to make led
    typesetting look better. They were added to some font encodings, as
    software design had not become advanced enough to find better

       Hans Aberg

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