From: Peter R. Mueller-Roemer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jun 10 2005 - 08:04:20 CDT
>I wonder whether Arabic letters should join when they are
>separated by markup. Here's an example:
>Current programs display the letters separated by markup
>differently: Internet Explorer 6 and StarOffice 7 join the
>letters, but Mozilla 1.7 does not.
This is an excellent example showing how irritating it is and how
desirable uniformity of display / printed appearance is.
Mozilla 1.7 does not violate any standard, so it is not illegal, but
still undesirable to change to final-form letters.
For *combining diacritical marks* it should be part of the *unicode
standard*, that e.g. color-change (markup) of base-letter or any
diacritic should not affect the composed character's shape. If one
wants to de-emphasize the base-letter or use the dotted-O instead - as
is done in the character charts for *combining diacritical marks* it is
very annoying if OpenOffice, WordPerfect, Word and browsers behave
differently or altogether refuse to combine in the desired way.
Doulos SIL / Graphite Technology shows that keeping several diacritics
separate rather than overstriking in outdated technology is not a
technical impossibility. But it is not available yet with Arabic,
Hebrew ... and with Greek letters it displays side-by-side accents
(e.g. spiritus + accute accent) above each other.
Before more isolated implementations do only partial jobs and add to the
confusion, it is desirable to have *default-rules* for sequences of
*combining diacritical marks *(that apply to all base-letters and
pre-composed base-letters that do not have a pre-composed form). If
the UTC feels restricted to impose such rules they could at least
convene a committe of text-processor makers, to work on an agreed
peter r. Mueller-roemer
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