Re: Quick survey of Apple symbol fonts (in context of the Wingding/Webding proposal)

From: Ken Whistler <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 14:04:20 -0700

On 7/15/2011 11:36 AM, Michael Everson wrote:
> Look at Figures 8-1 through 8-4 in the Unicode Standard 5.0.
> We see graphic characters shown, one representing space and two representing joiners. This is plain text.
Bzzzzt. Thanks for playing! But the correct answer is that it is not
plain text. And
what you see are not graphic characters, but glyphs arranged in a formatted

> This is something one might wish to put on a web page or in an e-mail.

As well one might:

> One of the three characters is encoded.

Michael is referring to the little bridge symbol there, which is used to
represent the
presence of a space, and which is encoded as U+2423 OPEN BOX. Note that
that is different from U+2420 SYMBOL FOR SPACE, which is the kind of
generic visible symbol for invisible control codes that are in question

As for the others, those are chart glyphs for the ZWNJ and the ZWJ. There is
no need to encode *characters* for chart glyphs.

> Talking about the standard is *important*. Since the use of graphic characters in plain text is often cited as a criterion for encoding, and since some non-graphic characters in the standard have a SYMBOL FOR graphic representation, I do not, at all, think that it is unwise or capricious to suggest that other non-graphic characters in the standard also have a SYMBOL FOR graphic character which can be used to represent them.

I don't think anybody is claiming capriciousness here, but having such
symbols encoded as
characters is definitely *unnecessary* for the standard. As Asmus has
already pointed out,
we have been successfully talking about such characters in the standard for
20 years now. There are half a dozen ways to do so, some using plain text,
and others using rich text and images.
> In fact, I think it would be advantageous to users of the standard and to promulgators of the standard for such symbols to be encoded.

And I rather think not. Asmus' analysis was spot on.

Received on Fri Jul 15 2011 - 16:06:30 CDT

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