Re: Draft Proposal to add Variation Sequences for Latin and Cyrillic letters

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Wed Aug 04 2010 - 01:52:30 CDT

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    On Tuesday 3 August 2010, Karl Pentzlin <> wrote:
    > Any comments are welcome.
    Firstly, thank you for making the document available.
    I have made a few comments regarding matters that I noticed.
    Please know that, whilst I comment on various matters, I am enthusiastic for the general thrust of your suggestion regarding access to alternate glyphs for Latin characters using Variation Selectors. This could produce a renaissance for typography.
    In the document, on page 2, there is the following.
    But while the general mechanisms for doing so are standardized (i.e. OpenType features), the concrete selection of a specific glyph is not.
    end quote
    It is important that the Unicode specification does not regard any particular font technology as being the standard font technology.
    This issue was discussed in this mailing list some years ago.

    The last two paragraphs of the following post put that post in context.

    Why is it not possible specifically to request a one-storey form of lowercase letter a?
    It seems to me that being able to request either a one-storey form or a two-storey form of lowercase letter a would be better.
    In relation to lowercase g, would it be better to be able to request any one of open descender, closed loop descender and unclosed loop descender?
    For example, the lowercase letters g in the fonts Arial, Times New Roman and Trebuchet MS show the three types.
    What happens in relation to a character such as g circumflex? Would one be able to access a glyph alternate for g circumflex?
    Could there be variants for lowercase e, for a horizontal line glyph design and for an angled line, Venetian-style font, glyph design please?
    Would it be possible to define U+FE15 VARIATION SELECTOR-16 to indicate an end of word alternate glyph for each lowercase Latin character? Certainly, some usages would be more likely than others, with d, e, h, m, n, t, z being more likely to have an end of word alternate glyph than would some other letters, yet a general usage for all Latin characters would, in my opinion, be good.
    William Overington
    4 August 2010

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