Re: Apostrophes at

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Aug 24 2007 - 18:09:23 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Apostrophes at"

    Andrew West wrote:

    > So I would say that a font that does not support variation sequences
    > should follow Mark's suggestion and map all VS characters to an
    > invisible glyph, whereas a font (such as Code2000) that does support
    > variation sequences should give VS characters a visible glyph, which
    > can be available for use in "show hidden" mode, but which will be
    > stripped out by the rendering system in normal use.

    > But what a font should not do, in my opinion, is simply leave VS
    > characters to be rendered with the .notdef glyph.

    Ideally not, but there are tens of thousands of fonts out there in the wild, most will
    never be updated, and if they are updated only a fraction of users will end up with the
    updated versions. And what about when Unicode encodes new control characters that you
    might also want to be handled in this way? Then all the fonts will be 'broken' again.

    This is an issue that cannot be practically addressed at the font level. On the other
    hand, applications could relatively easily suppress display of the .notdef glyph when the
    backing store includes and unsupported control character that is better not displayed. So
    I would look to application developers to solve this particular display issue.

    Fonts are very good at displaying what the makers of the fonts want them to display. It
    shouldn't be up to a font to not display something that should not be displayed. The
    .notdef mechanism itself is primarily an application operation only supported by the
    inclusion of a dedicated glyph in a font. Modification of that operation to suppress the
    .notdef glyph in certain circumstances should also be an application operation.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    Do not begin to paddle unless you intend always to paddle.
              - St Jean de Br├ębeuf, instructions for missionaries, 1637

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