RE: Dutch IJ & the austrian stamp's encoding

From: Kent Karlsson (
Date: Thu Jan 19 2006 - 03:09:50 CST

  • Next message: Jeroen Ruigrok/asmodai: "Re: Dutch IJ & the austrian stamp's encoding"

    > The discussion about IJ in the beginning asked, if I + ZWJ + J
    > would be the proper use for getting rid of the letter-spacing
    > in typesetting.

    I see no point in using ZWJ for this case, just use the IJ/ij ligature
    characters. (This is quite different from fi, fj, fö, tt, etc. ligatures.
    Though I see little point in using ZWJ for these too, most of them
    aren't encoded as characters, nor should they be. They should
    be applied by the font also in the absence of any ZWJ if the glyphs
    otherwise would overlap in a non-aesthetic way.)

    > Concerning the discussion about the Austrian stamp,
    > the text encoded is clearly O-umlaut, U-umlaut and
    > U, and the O-e, U-e, V forms are merely font issues.

    Yes, it's an umlaut. However, it is not a diaeresis. And there is no
    (ambiguous) umlaut encoded in Unicode; it's two(?) representations
    are disunified: diaeresis above and e above. Nor should any (ambiguous)
    umlaut be encoded; an "author" (= whoever is responsible for the text)
    should decide on the spelling and have that spelling respected by
    any ("general-purpose") font. The same goes for U/V.

    As for "special purpose fonts", we could have a "special purpose
    font" where every instance of "A" is given as a video image of Asmus
    jumping up and down saying "it's an umlaut" and every instance
    of "K" is given as a video image of me jumping up and down saying
    "a diaeresis is not the same as an e above". ;-) Not generally
    useful though (and not an OpenType font...), and I would really
    hesitate calling it a "Unicode font".

    Note also that there are texts (set in lead type during the 19th
    century) in which diaeresis above are used together with e above
    in the (apparent) "same" font. No "semantic" (phonetic) difference
    intended, but definitely a spelling difference, though I don't know
    who introduced it, nor how well it was taken by the *original* author.

    As for hand-writing-mimicking fonts (and "Sütterlin" is for handwriting):
    few people have regular enough style for it to be suitable to make
    a font out of (though there are "ransom note" fonts using (pseudo)
    random numbers to choose among a number of different glyphs for the
    same letter). In addition, many people do spelling substitutions
    (like diaeresis above to tilde above or macron above; all of which are
    entirely unsuitable to do *within* a ("general-purpose") font itself), which
    are rare in typeset texts (and still unsuitable to do *within* a font itself).
    This includes "small-caps" and "all-caps" styles. These are text
    transformations (not changing the stored text) applied *between*
    the stored text itself and the font processing. Or at least, they
    should be between.

                    /kent k

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