From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Aug 11 2009 - 12:33:30 CDT
On 8/11/2009 1:44 AM, James Cloos wrote:
>>>>>> "Asmus" == Asmus Freytag <email@example.com> writes:
> Asmus> adding the VS to the mix changes less than you might think.
> It wasn't my proposal, just my reading of the suggestion made on the
> list in reply to the original post.
António started the ball rolling with this notice:
> At < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Industrial_Standards >, a
> new symbol for JIS is shown and discussed. Will there be a new
> character in the Standard? (Not a new glyph in the same codepoint, I
Doug joined in:
> If this is a character, those should be glyph variants.
Peter was skeptical that anything would be encoded:
> The only plausible reason for a new character would be to provide compatibility with a Japanese encoding standard in which two different JIS symbols were encoded. That's a minimal criterion, and it seems very unlikely to me that it would be realized. So, a glyph variant seems the only option for someone who really needs to encode and display the new JIS logo.
which leaves open of whether he means just providing fonts with a new
glyph or coding a standardized variant.
After which I provided an actual analysis of the various options.
> I was just curious which of our interpretations matched what that author
> actually meant. (As you might guess, I've not search through the archives
> to remind myself who wrote it; I jsut remembered reading it and concluding
> that the suggestion was to use VS1....)
If you do that, you can see, you are the first one to call this a
"proposal" and to supply the sequence:
> I read the earlier post as suggesting that <U+3004><U+FE00> should be
> used to specify the new glyph.
> (That is <JAPANESE INDUSTRIAL STANDARD SYMBOL><VARIATION SELECTOR-1>.)
This just underscores my point: somebody sends an informative post
explicitly indicating that treating it as a glyph variant would be
undesirable, and before you know it, out comes the VS1 :)
Variation selectors were intended as *exceptional* mechanism to deal
with certain difficult edge-cases where the character vs. glyph question
is undecidable. To qualify as a standardized variant an entity must
clearly be the *same* character, in most cases. That means, in most
contexts, substituting the base character is not only harmless to the
meaning of the text, but ideally not even noticeable by many readers.
(That is true, basically, for both standardized and regular glyph
variations, such as those you achieve by switching fonts). There's a
second requirement for standardized variants, namely that there must be
some contexts where the glyph choice is expected to matter, but that
this requirement applies in a very restricted way, so that it is
insufficient to cause disunification.
The two glyphs for 'a' or for 'g' are distinct only in IPA, but in that
context, the distinction is important enough to require distinct
characters, because accidentally substituting one for the other would
destroy the meaning of the IPA text.
The two glyphs for GREATER-THAN BUT NOT EQUAL TO "may" be distinct
(nobody knows for sure) in some contexts (they are distinct in some
entity sets), but the mathematical meaning of the text is unaltered. A
standardized variant allows the preservation of existing data, or choice
of one form over the other, without requiring duplication of characters.
From that you can see that a VS should never be considered a mechanism
to simply organize a bunch of "similar looking" glyphs under a common
character code. The term for that kind of usage is "pseudo-coding", and
it "should be considered harmful".
Harmful enough that it's useful to discuss why such a thing is
inappropriate at the first mention of "encoding" & "glyph variant".
PS: in the case of U+3004, the best thing would be to see the new logo
remain unencoded (and open to use as PUA character as are all the other
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