RE: symbols for nexus

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Mar 15 2008 - 06:40:53 CST

  • Next message: Werner LEMBERG: "Re: symbols for nexus"

    Werner LEMBERG wrote:
    > > An example would be helpful.
    > Attached.

    Your image is an artificial example, just reading "foo bar baz", not a
    convincing document that exhibits specific textual semantics or need for
    correct orthography. For me it just look like other emphasizing features,
    something similar to underlining, so this is a presentation feature, just
    appearing above characters instead of below the baseline.

    The two tips at ends look also similar to ends that may also be used in
    underlined groups. If you had multicolored inks or wanted to display on
    screen you could as well exhibit this emphasizing using background colors;
    you could as well use a surrounding box.

    There may exist lots of way to present the tips at both ends, and the line
    above could as well use various styles (continuous, dashed, dotted,
    dash-dotted, double-lined, thich with grey patterns, decorated with flowers,
    branches, leaves, fruits, grapes or stars...).

    This artificial example does not exhibit any semantic textual feature for
    the "mark" above your "text", it just gives a possible presentation feature,
    that is still missing in most text processors, and not implemented this way
    in CSS; but your exhibited presentation may be built using some layout
    processors like TeX or MathML, or other multi-layered rich markup combining
    text and graphic features.

    May be something with semantic value could be encoded in text, but it would
    be something like grouping parentheses with various alternatives and no
    required presentation.

    So may be you could use the existing parenthese pairs (notably the existing
    tortoise shell parentheses that are the nearest from your exhibited image)
    followed by some of the 256 variant modifiers to make as many distinction as
    would be needed in specific documents, leaving their specific presentation
    being controled by local document stylesheets? (But such use for interchange
    would require prior approval, as variants are normally restricted and can't
    be freely assigned).

    So, is there a way to mark all existing parentheses in Unicode with
    additional variant codes to create variants written above or below or both,
    and make such convention interoperable? If text processors can't render the
    variant, it will stil render the parentheses on both sides, possibly with a
    small distinctive mark added in the inner side to suggest the distinction to
    the reader that the two punctuation symbols should be interpreted as being

    Note that existing parenthese symbols are not naturally grouping by
    themselves: they do not always pair in simple ways: a round parenthese on
    one side may delimit a group that is delimited on the other side with a
    square parenthese, a vertical bar, an angle bracket...

    In your example, one could imagine that the parenthese symbol above is split
    in two halves, with one half encoded on the left before the text, and the
    other half-parenthese encoded at end. Are you proposing to encode the
    horizontal half-parentheses and let the text renderer decide if it will
    support the connection line between each half or if it will make this
    connection controled by simple underlining/overlining styles?

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