Normalisation and directionality (was: how to add all latin (and greek) subscripts)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Jul 07 2008 - 14:20:06 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Getting A Newb Started"

    John H. Jenkins wrote:

    >> what, then, is the distinction between aleph as a "symbol" and the
    >> Hebrew letter?

    > Nothing, really, since U+2135 ALEF SYMBOL is formally a compatibility
    > variant of U+05D0 HEBREW LETTER ALEF and thus will go bye-bye if you
    > normalize using NFKC or NFKD. In practice, the most important thing
    > distinguishing the two is directionality. U+2135 ALEF SYMBOL has
    > directionality L and U+05D0 HEBREW LETTER ALEF has directionality R.

    Allowing normalisation to resolve to a character with different
    directionality seems to me risky. Isn't there a danger of the strong RTL
    directionality of U+05D0 messing up layout if substituted for U+2135 in
    some circumstances?

     From a glyph perspective, the design of these two characters
    legitimately differs, since the symbol characters are often harmonised
    to Latin cap-height, while the traditional height of Hebrew text is
    between Latin cap- and x-height.

    This seems to me a very unwelcome decomposition, but I suppose it is
    frozen thus for all time by stability agreements.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    Perhaps the earliest widely-held theory for the
    Tunguska explosion was that the world was about to
    end. As the minutes passed, this theory was dropped
    in favour of other, less final theories, until today
    one is hard-pressed to find anyone who truly believes
    the world ended on the morning of 30 June 1908.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Jul 07 2008 - 14:23:10 CDT