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

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 20:37:40 -0700

On 7/15/2011 2:18 PM, Michael Everson wrote:
>> As for the others, those are chart glyphs for the ZWNJ and the ZWJ. There is no need to encode *characters* for chart glyphs.
> That's your assertion. Some other people have a different view, and think that there *is* a need to encode *characters* for chart glyphs.
>> As Asmus has already pointed out, we have been successfully talking about such characters in the standard for 20 years now.

It's not a matter of competing "views". There's a well-defined process
for adding characters to the standard. It starts by documenting usage.
If you can document such usage, and if it is widespread, and settled
enough to warrant standardization to support it, then a proposal based
on such documentation is something that should be reviewed according to
the established process.

I don't really need to tell you this, as you are quite familiar with how
the process works.

> Rich text and inline images in text are not at all convenient. ... I wouldn't use images anyway. I would use a PUA character. And that is not portable, so while I could use it for printing, I couldn't share it on the web.

There are many important mathematical works that use notation that is
not widespread or settled enough to support standardization. Even though
mathematical notation as such is supported by Unicode, it won't be
possible to render these works in plain text. One of the works I am
thinking of here has sold in numbers that exceed all the editions of the
Unicode Standard - combined. It might be convenient to have characters,
but the fact is, the symbols in question fail some or all of the tests
and were properly excluded from being considered as characters. Now, if
we were to find in the future that all / many other works describing the
same mathematical facts start making use of the same symbols, this would
be a different matter.

So, mere "inconvenience" is not a sufficient argument to cinch a case
for encoding characters - however keenly you feel this inconvenience.
Neither is speculation of the kind "it might be generally useful to have
such symbols".

However, as soon as you present *evidence* that the kind of glyph images
you would like to use are in fact a common, shared notation and you can
document that, the discussion will take a quite different turn. We no
longer be discussing abstract, potential desirability of some symbols,
but an actual character encoding proposal based on solid evidence - as
it should be.

Received on Fri Jul 15 2011 - 22:40:49 CDT

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