Re: Ligatures fi and ffi

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Jun 02 2005 - 10:04:11 CDT

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    Hans Aberg <haberg at math dot su dot se> wrote:

    > If one so wants, one can add all the glyphs one wants, adding a
    > property field saying that it is a rendering character. These will
    > not then disturb the other characters, which are semantic in nature.
    > One reason for doing it, is that if one has a Unicode font, then
    > those glyphs become available. It seems me that is just a question of
    > how to make these glyphs accessible.

    Glyphs in a font do not have to be associated 1-to-1 with Unicode code
    points. Indeed, they must not, if they are able to handle certain
    context-dependent scripts.

    There is no need to encode additional precomposed Latin ligatures, and
    they will not be encoded. I once thought this would be a good idea. I
    have since realized that it would not, not because I have been
    "re-educated" in some sort of doctrinal way, but because I have a better
    understanding of the technical principles involved. (Besides which, it
    is now considered legitimate to use ZWJ and ZWNJ to explicitly request
    or inhibit ligation, so there is now a Unicode solution to the problem.)

    You can bet that the keepers of the Unicode Standard will not
    "re-invent" it by renouncing the core technical principles that have
    guided them for 14 years. This kind of "thinking outside the box" is
    highly prized in marketing and industry invention, but it is a death
    blow for an interoperable standard.

    Doug Ewell
    Fullerton, California

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