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From: Dr.James Austin (jamesvattekkattu1@vsnl.net)
Date: Mon Jan 16 2006 - 14:44:22 CST

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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
    To: Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 3:08 PM
    Subject: RE: IJ joint in spaced lettering

    > On Mon, 9 Jan 2006, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    > >> (Maybe some official statement,
    > >> constituting an explicit exception to the principle of avoiding
    > >> compatibility decomposable characters, would be in order.)
    > >
    > > Actually, I don't think so. The bullet at the definition
    > > of compatibility decomposable characters already provides
    > > sufficient wiggle-room. They are there for:
    > >
    > > 1. use with legacy data (which includes ISO 8859-1, by the way)
    > >
    > > 2. when you need them (special circumstances)
    > Hardly anyone would consider using characters that he does not need, so
    > interpreting "special circumstances" as "when you need them" nullifies the
    > entire statement about avoiding compatibility decomposable characters.
    > Maybe it _should_ be nullified, but I'd rather see that happen as an
    > explicit decision in a revision of the standard, and that would also
    > require some tuning in other parts of the standard. (For example, saying
    > that compatibility characters were included only for compatibility with
    > existing standards would then be too strong, or at least misleading.)
    > > You wouldn't get very far trying to pushing a claim that the
    > > Unicode Standard has a principle of "avoiding compatibility
    > > decomposable characters",
    > Well, it has such a principle, in the form of an explicit statement
    > that I quoted and "between the lines" in various wordings.
    > > given that technically, they include
    > > even such characters as U+00A0 NO-BREAK SPACE -- which is elsewhere
    > > explicitly recommended for use (in special circumstances) for
    > > preventing line breaks and for display of nonspacing marks
    > > in apparent isolation, and so on.
    > An explicit recommendation, or permission, in the standard surely
    > constitutes an exception to the general rule, but it does not mean
    > that the rule does not exist or could be taken lightly.
    > > I'd say the IJ is a similar case.
    > Perhaps. Wouldn't it then be suitable to make a note of this?
    > > U+0132 is encoded for those
    > > circumstances where you might need it: interoperating with legacy
    > > data (particularly ISO 6937), and special circumstances where you
    > > might have requirements for letter spacing that couldn't be
    > > met simply in plain text otherwise.
    > It is a sufficient reason for U+0132 that it existed in other standards.
    > Interoperating with legacy data generally constitutes a reason to use
    > compatibility characters. But beyond that? If the ij ligature is
    > considered as a letter that is part of Dutch orthography, then its use
    > would be recommendable, without any "special circumstances". (We would
    > then rather say that replacing it by "i" and "j" would be appropriate
    > in some circumstances, including situations where U+0132 cannot be
    > used safely.) This might be a highly debatable issue, but if there is a
    > considerable community that regards the ij ligature as a letter, this
    > alone would be a reason to add some comment to U+0132.
    > --
    > Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

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