From: Richard Wordingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Apr 02 2006 - 05:05:48 CST
James Kass wrote:
>> When a new orthography was announced for German a few years ago,
>> did you go and make two Latin fonts then, one for the old and one for
>> the new orthography? I guess (and hope) not... When one for Finnish
>> started to use ? and ? instead of sh and zh, did you go and make a
>> font that displays sh as ? and zh as ?? I guess and hope not.
> Of course not. I've always figured that if anybody wants to represent the
> "sh" sound with a question mark, they should just
> use the question mark character at U+0037.
> (My browser settings munged your message.)
No! The question mark U+0037 has inappropriate properties for a letter.
Compare LATIN LETTER RETROFLEX CLICK (alias LATIN LETTER EXCLAMATION MARK)
U+01C3 with the EXCLAMATION MARK U+0021. They have different BiDi
properties for starters. (I'm not sure if the dire effects on
spell-checkers of using puntuation as letters can be blamed on the Unicode
properties. One of the Unicode annexes agonises over the apostrophe U+0027.
>> "Uniqueness Rule"???
> "Two different encodings should not render same,
> irrespective of the font or joiners used."
That's at best a goal. There are blocks of exceptions, e.g. Arabic
Presentation Forms! At best it can be rescued by adding 'unless they are
compatibility equivalent'. If I write U+0061 U+200D U+0065 I have no idea,
without knowing the rendering system, whether I will get the same as U+0061
U+0065, the same as U+00E6 LATIN SMALL LETTER AE or something different.
The rule would eliminate the second possibility.
There are also cases where identical glyphs have been created without any
qualms - the principle of script separation distinguishes the usually
visually identical LATIN SMALL LETTER O, CYRILLIC SMALL LETTER O and GREEK
SMALL LETTER OMICRON without serious worries, though I must admit I found a
(hand-drawn) diagram with both LATIN CAPITAL LETTER M and GREEK CAPITAL
LETTER MU distinctly naughty. (The contrast seemed to be totally oral.)
The use of IPA in orthographies also creates havoc. The glyphs of LATIN
SMALL LETTER ALPHA U+0251 are also glyphs of LATIN SMALL LETTER A U+0061,
and are the glyphs usually used in children's books in England. There are
also cases where glyph variation is constrained by grammatical
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