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

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Thu Aug 05 2010 - 05:47:12 CDT

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    On Wednesday 4 August 2010, Asmus Freytag <> wrote:
    > However, there's no need to add variation sequences to
    > select an *ambiguous* form. Those sequences should be
    > removed from the proposal.
    Are you here talking about such things as alternate glyph styles?
    It depends what one means by "need".
    Adding alternate glyphs to a font is a trend in modern font design.
    One approach is to use Private Use Area mappings, which can be used to produce stylish hardcopy printouts and stylish graphics for the web, yet there are the well-known problems of spell-checking and so on if Private Use Area mappings are used for much more than those application areas.
    The other approach is to use an alternate glyph model, where the underlying plain text is conserved. However, this, today, often means using expensive software packages with a proprietary file format in order to store the information about which glyph to use in each case.
    I remember those advertisements that CNN used to run promoting the concept of advertising. Advertising - your right to choose. One of the advertisements distinguished between what people need and what people want.
    So, maybe people do not "need" to use alternate glyphs in typography, yet maybe they "want" to do so, maybe they "enjoy" doing so.
    I feel that it is entirely reasonable that Unicode and ISO 10646 encode things that help people do what they want to do and what they enjoy doing as well as what they need to do.
    William Overington
    5 August 2010

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