Re: Exemplifying apostrophes

From: Eric Muller (
Date: Wed May 21 2008 - 23:58:02 CDT

  • Next message: David Starner: "Re: Exemplifying apostrophes"

    Philippe Verdy wrote:
    > - But the presentation HTML page for French
    > ( is still using the ASCII quote.

    The pages at the website are not under the control the UDHR in
    Unicode project. There is an HTML version on the unicode
    > And another problem:
    > - Also in articles 4, 18, 21.3, 22, 25.1, 26.1 there's a semi-colon missing
    > a non-breaking space before it (NNBSP is possibly preferable, but NBSP is
    > widely used in most French sources, SPACE is always incorrect

    Please stop making authoritative-looking statements when they are not.

    It is true that the rendered appearance should have some white space
    before a semicolon, in essentially all the modern typesetting traditions
    (an probably many older ones). But it is much less clear how to
    represent that in Unicode texts. There are at least three options:

    1. no space character of any sort, rendered white space materialized by
    the rendering software, much like Japanese akis
    2. a U+0020, which the rendering software can materialize with the
    appropriate width, and treat as non-breaking
    3. some space character which carries all the necessary semantics of
    width, stretchability and line-breakability

    I agree that 1. is not very good. It is used in the unicode.or/udhr
    text, and should probably be changed.

    I personally think that 3. is not viable because a) Unicode does not
    currently contain the necessary assortment of characters, b) keyboards
    would probably not include all them if they existed, c) I don't think we
    can expect users (at least those who are not professional typesetters)
    to enter the "right" character, even if keyboarding is easy.

    2 seems the best choice to me. The determination of appropriate width,
    stretchability and line-breakability seems amenable to automatic
    computation. You can experiment for yourself such an implementation in
    Flash Player 10 which just went in beta.

    > - This is standard rule for all punctuation signs drawn using more than one
    > glyph,
    glyph -> multiple pieces of ink (as in ":;!?«»"). Actually a better
    characterization is "high punctuation", i.e. punctuation that extends
    well above the baseline, although the precise amount of space, its
    stretchability and its location varies with the signs.
    > a semicolon is
    > used in article 26.1 in French due to the problem when translating
    > "generally"

    It seems to me that the French is far from being a translation. Given
    the history of that text and the folks involved, I suspect it was
    written simultaneously in English and French. Incidentally, I find the
    style of the French text very elegant and very well suited to that
    particular text.
    > Hmmm.... How does the reviewing works?


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