Re: A Standard fallback characters (was: Draft Proposal to add VariationÚ Sequences for Latin and Cyrillic letters)

From: verdy_p (
Date: Wed Aug 04 2010 - 17:29:48 CDT

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    "Asmus Freytag"
    > > If a text was initially using a round s, nothing prohibits it being rendered in Fraktur style, but even in this
    case, the conversion to "long s" will be inappropriate. So use the Fraktur "round s" directly.
    > >
    > This statement makes clear that you don't understand the rules of
    > typesetting text in Fraktur.
    > > If a text in Fraktur absolutely requires the "long s", it's only when the original text was already using this
    "long s".
    > This statement is also incorrect.
    > The rules when to use long s in Fraktur and when to use round s depend
    > on the position of the character within the word in complicated ways.
    > The same word, typeset using Antiqua style will not usually have the long s.

    So you juist demonstrate that IF such rule exists and is enforceable, then you DON'T need the separate encoding. In
    that case you can safely use a round s everywhere, and let all the appropriate round s to be converted automatically
    to long s according to this rule.

    Your false assumption is, in my opinion, that such rule exists and is enforceable for typesetting into Fraktur. All
    demonstrate that this is NOT the case, just look into actual manuscripts and old books, and you'll find very
    frequently that the same book used the rules inconsistently, either because of a typo made by the printer (or its
    typists composing the pages), or that the printer wanted to respect the original orthography used in the original
    manuscript by the author (the printer decides to NOT decide and maintains that orthography, even if it's

    Now if you're exposed to an original book that was initially typesetted in Fraktur, and want to preserve its
    characters, as they are, just use standard round s and standard long s. You don't need ANY variation selector.
    You'll only be interested in addding ZWJ for encoding the ligatures that you see in the original document. Render it
    to a Fraktur font and you've done the work correctly. nothing is needed.

    Now render it with a Bodoni font, and all the long s will be converted to a "fallback" round s, if you use a correct
    typesetting program that will not display squares for missing glyphs. Render it on the web in HTML, and the default
    text renderers of browsers will use any font they have (even if you specified one, there's no warranty that it will
    be available, or that the user will have not applied a personal stylesheet for its own prefered fonts, so fallback
    fonts will still be used), in that case the browers will make all the efforts they cant to reproduce the original
    distinctions between long s and round s.

    Now if you want to render it to a high-quality Bodoni text, you'll use a font or renderer that will either display
    ALL the existing distinctions as they are encoded in the text (ne need of any variation selector for that), or NONE
    of them (all long s will be rendered like round s).

    > For German, there exist a large number of texts that were typeset in
    > both formats, so you can compare for yourself. Even in France, I suspect
    > that research libraries would have editions of 19th century German
    > classics in both formats.

    Yes, but this is not relevant to the issue. You DON'T need any variation sequence to encode the differences WHERE
    THEY EXIST. If you want the correct long s in the Fraktur-rendered text, use the standard long s where they are and
    nothing else. The same text will still rander with round s in a Bodoni-like font, and will display the fraktur
    differences when using a "modern" font containing mapping the two characters into two distint glyphs.

    And then only one case remains useful: if you still want that some "long s" in the original Fraktur text must
    convert to "long s" in a modern style, but others will still convert to "round s", using the SAME font:

    Only for this case, what you'll need is NOT but REALLY , so that the renderer will know
    (with the presence of VS1) that the is safely convertible to when using a modern font that has
    mappings for both characters. In other words, the modern font will add a mapping of to the same glyph
    as , instead of just to when ignoring the variation selector. This VS1 will encode the "long s"
    that are not absolutely long when rendering in other styles (such as Antiqua) than the original Fraktur.

    For the reversed conversion (from modern texts to Fraktur), that you would use for fancy new creations, you won't
    need to encode anything else than (that will be converted automatically to , where
    appropriate and using automatically and consistantly the strict "rules"), and if you still want to force
    them some others (for fancy reasons) into the document rendered in a "Fraktur-like" style (but remember that the
    original was not using , except if they were forced in the original... With this scheme you'll still be able
    to preserve the original modern non-Fraktur text.


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