Re: Unicode, colours and (hiero)glyphs

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Jan 27 2006 - 06:00:46 CST

  • Next message: saqqara: "Re: Unicode, colours and (hiero)glyphs"

    From: "Jukka K. Korpela" <>
    > On Fri, 27 Jan 2006, wrote:
    >> UNICODE might get a problem with colored/colorized glyphs (as may be the
    >> case with egyptian hieroglyphs), WHERE THE - DIFFERENT - COLOURS USED BY
    >> EGYPTIAN SCRIBES (not just black&white) might bear different meanings
    > I'm not familiar with such differences, but I'm not fluent in hieroglyphs
    > in general. But it is surely conceivable that colors express essential
    > differences. After all, people might e.g. use a particular symbol in green
    > to indicate "yes" and in red to indicate "no". It would normally be unwise
    > to rely on such an expression, but such things happen.
    > This, however, is external to Unicode. I don't think Unicode should, or
    > will, cover the use of colors in characters (apart from the existence of
    > "white" and "black" versions of some symbols, like chess pieces, which are
    > differences in shape rather than color - "black" and "white" really stand
    > for "foreground color" and "background color"). Coloring an entire glyph,
    > e.g. making "black heart suit" red, is to be handled at other protocol
    > levels, such as markup or formatting commands. Using different colors
    > inside a glyph simply does not fit into the underlying model; if a symbol
    > has internal color variation as an essential ingredient, then it simply
    > won't be treated as a _character_ but as an image.

    I completely disagree here. Unicode can perfectly encode the abstract character with a name that clearly indicates its intended semantic and identity, even if this means that the *informative* representative glyph cannot reflect this color. However such usual color distinction could be rendered differently using a glyph variant, including but not limited to, effects like shadowing, outlining, overbars, negative. Not encoding the color distinction would make the encoding defective, with loss of important information.

    A color-capable renderer would of course use color,but a B&W renderer would usesuch glyph variation.

    Of course I don't mean encoding modifiers for colorthatcouldbeappliedonany character.
    But I think that encoding characters similar to RED SUN and YELLOW SUN would be possible, and that even for this case it's possible to create informative B&W representative glyphs, for use in charts, but explained inthe same chapter of the standard.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Jan 27 2006 - 06:06:29 CST