Re: Purpose of plain text (WAS: Re: combining: half, double, triple et cetera ad infinitum)

From: David Starner <>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 14:35:23 -0800

On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM, Naena Guru <> wrote:
> As for, "every other operation that could be performed on text is secondary"
> is beautifully met with fonts too.

No. Every operation besides simple storage and display needs to know
how that font maps the 8-bit codes to display characters. üÔÏ may
display as Это, but spellchecking, translation, and everything else
under the sun needs to know that ü is really Э to process the data.

> I do not understand what you meant by "jury-rigged to accommodate visual
> display order". Did you mean using unexpected shapes for Latin codes?

No. For one, Hebrew and Arabic don't go left-to-right. If you use a
font solution for them, you'll end up typing your letters in backwards
and manually putting in line breaks, because rewrap will move the
wrong text to the next line. A font solution is basically worthless
for those languages.

> I think the ability to use text in the computer in the way you expect text
> to behave in it is very important. For instance, if you have shape
> representations mapped to code clusters, scanned text could be more
> accurately digitized.

Why? OCR is hard. Once you know enough to express it as a stream of
characters for a font solution, converting it to Unicode is trivial.

Kie ekzistas vivo, ekzistas espero.
Received on Mon Nov 14 2011 - 16:37:35 CST

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