Re: Shouldn't U+2800 (braille pattern blank) be a separator and space?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Mar 26 2006 - 15:07:33 CST

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    From: "Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin" <>
    > On 2006.03.26, 14:21, Samuel Thibault <> wrote:
    >> U+2800 (braille pattern blank) is currently a "symbol, other"
    >> character. I would have thought it would be a "separator, space"
    >> character, since it is visually a spacing separator. What do people
    >> think?
    > IMHO, I think you are right. A very similar character, typographically
    > speaking, the U+3000 : IDEOGRAPHIC SPACE, has indeed general category of
    > "Zs [Separator, Space]". I can't see how U+2800 would be any different.

    I think too, but there's an extra reason: Braille spaces are justifiable like normal spaces for separating words in alphabetic scripts. It just happens to have a minimum width (that must be larger than a half-symbol), so that (without justification), and possibly extended so that all Braille patterns (including its space pattern) get aligned on a grid. However, large spaces are not recommanded for Braille, as it becomes difficult to follow a line with a finger and to detect the proper vertical alignment of symbols. (Larger spaces are sometimes found when indenting the beginning of paragraphs.)

    Several years ago, I saw also a diacritic added on Braille prints, to help beginners train their fingers: it was a small subscript underscore that helped positioning the finger and detect where letters start (a common difficulty when fingers are not trained to detect the smallspacing differences between the two columns, or when it is difficult to detect if a letter at the begining of a line has dots on the first column or the second one.) There may exist other similar formatting symbols used, and I wonder if they are correctly represented with just the 2x4 patterns (where only the top 2x3 dots are used for alphabets, the 2 bottom dots possibly left for such interlinear annotations, which are not really semantic punctuations, except in some conventions where they could be used to mark the beginning of words, instead of using a spacing Braille symbol).

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