From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Fri Jun 02 2006 - 10:36:37 CDT
Walter Keutgen is under the impression
> that the German quotation marks will vary depending on the FONT.
Of course, the quotation marks do not vary; it is simply the fonts
that are off the mark.
This is a problem I had long planned to bring to the attention of
this forum, but I have not come around to, so far. But now, as
discussion has verged on this topic, I feel I should finally find
the time to report my findings.
As my pertinent contribution (containing two small pictures) was
rejected from the list due to its excessive size, I have now
concocted a WWW page dicussing this problem:
Here's an excerpt from that WWW page.
The problem stems from these facts:
- Unicode has unified the opening English, and the closing German,
quote symbols, based on their *Roman* glyphs;
- however, in other writing styles, the glyphs for English opening.
and German closing, quote symbols differ conspicuously;
- the designers of most fonts do not take into account these different
usages for U+201C, and U+2018, and their respective glyphs.
The net result is that I can use only particular (mostly: Roman) fonts,
or that I have to change my plain text (!) when I wish to use a different
font (thus misleading content-assessing software). In WWW pages,
I can never be sure that my audience will see the correct quote symbols,
as the reader (end-user) can choose any font at his discretion.
Look at the WWW page for examples and a more comprehensive discussion.
I really do not know what to do about this problem.
- Almost certainly, it is too late now to dis-unify LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION
MARK from some "RIGHT GERMAN DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK".
- The Unicode Standard should mention this problem in the code charts,
and discuss it in chapter 6.2
- How can we stimulate progress in font, and software, technology?
· Font designers should provide different, language-dependent, glyphs
for U+201C (and likewise for U+2018).
· Rendering engines should observe language specifications.
· Text processing software, and browsers, should relate the language
specification to the rendering engine.
· Note that a document can contain passages in various languages,
so the language must be specified for a run of text, not for a whole
(This technical progress would also solve the notorious problem of
the Serbian Cyrillic italic glyphs.)
- While we still do not have this perfect combo of fonts, rendering
and text processing, how can we get vendors to provide fonts
suitable for German (and, b. t. w., for Serbian) under the same
terms as the current English-biased fonts?
What should I do myself about this problem? Is there any formal
proposition I could make?
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