Re: What exactly is a "representative glyph"? (referring to U+2591, emoji, and other characters)

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Sun Jan 04 2009 - 13:21:44 CST

  • Next message: Jukka K. Korpela: "Re: What exactly is a "representative glyph"? (referring to U+2591, emoji, and other characters)"

    Karl Pentzlin wrote:

    > Neither the "glossary" nor the "general index" of the printed Unicode
    > 5.0 edition lists the term "representative glyph".

    The expression has been somewhat unclear to me, too, and I don’t even
    consider it a term—rather, a descriptive expression to be understood as we
    normally understand natural language (if we do)

    > The printed Unicode 5.0 edition says on p.564 within section 17.1,
    > below the header "Images in the Code Charts and Character Lists":
    > "Each character in these code charts is shown with a representative
    > glyph. A representative glyph is not a prescriptive form of the
    > character, but rather one that enables recognition of the intended
    > character to a knowledgeable user and facilitates lookup of the
    > character in the code charts."

    That may look like a definition, but I’

    > Did I overlook a more concise definition somewhere?

    I don’t know, but it seems to me that there is no more _exact_ definition in
    the standard.

    > Are the following statements true?
    > 1. The representative glyph of U+0323 COMBINING DOT BELOW is a dotted
    > ring on the baseline with a dot beneath of it.
    > 2. The representative glyph of U+0020 SPACE is a Latin letter pair
    > "SP" surrounded by a dotted square.
    > 3. Representative glyphs are always printable using black color on
    > white background, without using gray shades and/or other colors.
    > 4. The representative glyph of a character is not necessarily a valid
    > visual representation of the character itself to be used within its
    > plain text use.
    > This especially applies to control codes and space characters which
    > have no glyphic representation by nature, but also for some special
    > cases where the glyphic representation of the character cannot be
    > expressed unambiguously within its block by a glyph printable black
    > on white, e.g. for U+2011 NON_BREAKING HYPHEN or U+2591 LIGHT SHADE
    > (the latter one being a gray shade by nature and by its correct
    > naming).
    > 5. The representative glyph does not denote the character
    > unambiguously (e.g. U+0042/U+0392/U+0412).
    > 6. The reference glyph of the emoji e-B16 (purple heart) may be a
    > black and white striped heart (either devised by a scheme to
    > represent colors within black and white presentations, like
    > heraldry, or simply by a particular decision).
    > While the name "STRIPED HEART" is misleading, a it would refer
    > to the representative glyph instead of the character itself,
    > "EMOJI SYMBOL PURPLE HEART" would be a correct name which denotes
    > the identity of the symbol.
    > 7. If someone provides evidence for a real "STRIPED HEART" symbol,
    > he may propose it, using the same representative glyph as for the
    > purple heart.
    > - Karl Pentzlin


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