From: David Starner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun May 21 2006 - 12:38:52 CDT
On 5/20/06, Steve Summit <email@example.com> wrote:
> But certainly, a big part of this issue is that, practically,
> people don't have a good way of making such distinctions in
Sure they do. They could write the apostrophe differently from the
right quote, but they don't. Oh, you mean typing?
> Funny you should mention that -- just yesterday I was realizing
> that having distinct code points for "full stop" versus "decimal
> point", and "comma" versus "thousands separator", would be quite
> useful, especially when doing on-the-fly conversion of text to
> properly locale-representative forms.
But they wouldn't be useful. They would be confused all the time, and
hardly any data would exist that used them properly. It's not that
hard to invent a system to distinguish them if you working on a closed
system where they will be reliabily distinguished; if you have to do
it at the character set level, you have private use points.
> > Making distinctions on purely semantic grounds, for a character
> > that is commonly understood as one character with multiple uses,
> > would apparently have opened a can of worms.
> "Would have"? Remember that Unicode has done exactly that in
> several other places as well! We've split off U+2010 Hyphen,
> U+2013 En Dash, and U+2212 Minus Sign from the old, ambiguous,
> ASCII, U+002D Hyphen-Minus.
All three are distinct in hot lead typography.
> We've got U+212B Angstrom Sign distinct from U+00C5 Latin Capital
> Letter A with Ring Above, and several other glyph-identical
> characters in the 21xx Letterlike Symbols block. We've got
> U+00B5 Micro Sign distinct from U+03BC Greek Small Letter Mu,
> although of course that one was forced on us by ISO 8859-1.
And most of the examples in the 21xx Letterlike Symbols block,
including 212B, were forced on us by various characters, particularly
> I'm not sure why the can of worms is so much squirmier for
> apostrophes than for the other characters.
Because there's no precident for it. The others are generally
inheritated issues or things actually distinguished in good
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