From: Asmus Freytag (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 19:18:01 CST
On 1/25/2007 4:14 PM, John H. Jenkins wrote:
> On Jan 25, 2007, at 4:32 PM, Ruszlan Gaszanov wrote:
>>> (And I should also point out that using ZWJ and ZWNJ to control
>>> ligation gives
>>> typographers the heebie-jeebies.)
>> Surely, decomposed ligatures don't present more problems for
>> typographers then any
>> NFD sequence (not to mention Indic and Arabic scripts).
> The problem is the implication that ligature control belongs in plain
> text. By and large, for Latin it doesn't. For Latin, it doesn't make
> much sense to specify ligature formation involving certain characters
> in the absence of information on what font is being used. Some fonts,
> like Courier, will typically have no or very few ligatures. Other
> fonts, such as Zapfino, will have huge ligature repertoires.
There is that old chestnut again.
While attempts at arbitrary ligature *formation* via ZWJ has limited
usefulness in plain text, because it makes assumptions about the fonts
being used, ligature *prevention* by ZWNJ is a different animal. There
are several languages where the model "give me all the ligatures in the
font" results in orthographically incorrect text. In those languages,
you need a mechanism to prevent ligatures for character pairs in
specific contexts that are based on the meaning of the word, not its
As of now, ZWNJ is the only way to do that (and thankfully, no special
support is needed other than not rendering it with a visible glyph of
The sad reality is that because software cannot automatically ligate
these languages without errors, the use of ligatures has gone way down.
> John H. Jenkins
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