Re: Missing geometric shapes

From: Christoph Päper <>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:56:52 +0100

Kent Karlsson:
> Den 2012-11-11 23:08, skrev "Doug Ewell" <>:
>> or turning Unicode into a standard for rating systems in general,

Using digits, it already covers that.

> Here I agree. (Not sure why that branch of this tread is still ongoing...)

Perhaps because today people usually write, in inline HTML[1], something like

  <img alt="2½ out of 5 stars" src="2.5_stars.png">

instead of

  <img alt="1 star" src="star.png">
  <img alt="1 star" src="star.png">
  <img alt="½ star" src="half_star.png">

or even

  <img alt="1 star" src="black_star.png">
  <img alt="1 star" src="black_star.png">
  <img alt="½ star" src="half_star.png">
  <img alt="" src="white_star.png">
  <img alt="" src="white_star.png">

If translated to characters that could be added to (or selected from) Unicode, the first variant leads to a set of, say, 10 rating characters,

  <span style="font-variant-alternates: character-variant(rating-stars)">&rating5;</span>

the second to two star characters


and the last to three star characters


(not counting reversed half star). It would be wrong for fonts to have alternative characters in the latter two cases that did not resemble stars of some kind, but it would be okay, expected even, in the first case.

I’m not saying I believe that rating characters should be added to Unicode!

Alas, there are many reasons to (semantically) use BLACK STAR and WHITE STAR, but there would be just one use case, namely rating, for BLACK WHITE STAR and WHITE BLACK STAR. So if characters were to be added specifically for rating anyhow, I ask whether it wouldn’t be better to introduce a full set of dedicated RATING characters instead of only those missing for a STAR-based rating system.

[1] “Inline” means pictures replacing single characters or words, not whole paragraphs or formulas etc. * RATING would be used as a character, * STAR as part of a word.
Received on Mon Nov 12 2012 - 08:01:40 CST

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