proposal for the inclusion of the most basic outlining commands as characters

From: Dennis Heuer (
Date: Mon Apr 13 2009 - 18:34:36 CDT

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    there is a general problem when preparing text: though everybody agrees
    that the weighted use of some basic typographic formatting commands
    (italic, underlined, of certain font size (by value and by step), etc.)
    makes text more readable (and more pleasing than formatting text with
    plain ASCII characters, as is the case in programming scripts), the use
    of this formatting commands is not feasible in all cases because the
    commands are not defined as general font symbols but as part of
    document formats.

    this is a sad thing because these commands are as important to text as
    the delete key, which is defined in unicode, for example. not having
    these commands generally available means that typographic information
    might get lost when storing text in a different format. it also means
    that innovative new ways of using text always again must provide special
    data formats and input codes (think of wiki and blog editors, for
    example.) programming code documentation tools would profit from the
    availability of information about the importance or weight of a text
    part too.

    most simple text editors are actually capable of showing bold font etc.
    because of the toolkits they use. the reason why they can't provide
    such features is: they rely on plain text files. other editors, like
    commandline editors, may not be capable of showing the formatting but
    they can show symbols instead, which means that the formatting is still
    'visible'--and the commandline editors will handle this extra
    information correctly, including saving it back to the text file.

    this is why i think that the most neccessary typographic formatting
    commands should be available as both control characters and typographic
    characters in unicode. text processing systems will understand the
    control characters and commandline editors will show the typographic

    dennis heuer

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