Control picture glyphs (was Re: Apostrophes at

From: James Kass (
Date: Sun Aug 26 2007 - 09:26:47 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "Re: Control picture glyphs (was Re: Apostrophes at"

    My apologies to the list for failing to remember to change the
    subject line.

    As partial atonement, here is a different reply to a letter
    to which I'd already replied in the wrong thread.

    Mark Davis wrote,

    > I□find□this□reasoning□bizarre.↓

    Two possibilities -- the reasoning was bizarre, or you didn't find it.

    (The "or" there isn't necessarily exclusive.)

    > > ↓
    > > Simply□because□someone□might□want□a□visible□symbol□of□a□character↓
    > > in□unusual□circumstances□like□a□code□chart□or□Show□Hidden□Mode,↓
    > > the□font□designer□is□supposed□to□have□an□abnormal□glyph?↓

    No, it's not about what someone might want. It's about font designers
    who have studied and thought about the issues being responsible for
    determining if their fonts should contain control pictures, and, if so,
    for which characters their fonts should contain control pictures, and, if
    so, how best to store those control pictures so that they can be accessed
    and implemented by existing systems right out-of-the-box.

    A "run-on sentence" perhaps, but hopefully not bizarre.

    > > It□is□the□*unusual*□case□that□calls□for□*unusual*□glyphs,↓
    > > including,□those□for□space,□tab,□and□others.□

    This is comparing apples and horses. I was only talking about VS
    characters and control picture support thereof.

    VS characters are normally used in sequences. Either the sequences
    are supported by the font, or they aren't.

    So, here's the reasoning:

    1) You specifically mention VS characters as examples of characters
    which must be zero-width no-contour glyphs in fonts.

    2) I map control picture glyphs to VS characters.

    3) But only in my fonts.

    4) I am compelled to defend my practice, time constraints

    2a) My fonts don't have control picture glyphs mapped to most
    control characters, especially not to ASCII characters.

    2b) Far as I know, there aren't any available special fonts covering
    control pictures for VS. If any were available, where do you suppose
    the control pictures would be mapped? In the PUA? No way! It has
    to be standard so it's cross-platform/cross-fonts.

    2b continued) As long as special fonts would have special control
    pictures for VS characters mapped to the VS characters, why on
    Earth wouldn't the font designer simply put them into the general
    purpose font *targeted for a specific user community*, rather than
    require users to download and install two separate fonts while hoping
    the plain text application/system will know the difference?

    2c) If a font doesn't have a control picture available and one is called for,
    then the system implements fallback rendering in the best way it can.
    System fallback rendering is up to the programmers responsible for the
    system in the same fashion as glyph design and character support decisions
    are in the realm of the font developer.

    2d) The system used here doesn't offer fallback rendering for VS characters
    in isolation or other special circumstances, far as I can tell. So some fonts do,
    fortunately, for users who need 'em.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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