Re: Accessing alternate glyphs from plain text (from Re: Draft Proposal to add Variation Sequences for Latin and Cyrillic letters)

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Fri Aug 06 2010 - 14:50:28 CDT

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    On Aug 6, 2010, at 3:03 AM, William_J_G Overington wrote:

    > The standards organizations have a great opportunity to advance typography by defining some of the Latin letter plus variation selector pairs so that alternate glyphs within a font may be accessed directly from plain text.

    This is another case of a solution in search of a problem. It isn't Unicode's business to advance typography, and in any event, typesetting plain text isn't the path to good typography. Other technologies, such as OpenType, AAT, and Graphite, *do* have the job of making good typography easy and accessible. And, mirabile dictu, they can already do what you are suggesting here for plain text.

    Unicode's responsibility is to deal with existing needs. If it is common for poets to use various letter shapes at the end of words to convey some semantic meaning, and if they do this in their emails or tweets, or if they're complaining that this is something that they want to do but can't, then Unicode and plain text provide a proper way to help them.

    Hoani H. Tinikini
    John H. Jenkins

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