Re: Case-folding dotted i

From: Joó Ádám <>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2013 03:40:37 +0100

> Design a better one in 7-bits for the hardware ASCII was designed for.
> Demonstrate that it doesn't slow down the programs using it. (Okay, so
> the first might not be hard, but it wouldn't touch this problem.)

I don’t blame ASCII for failing, it’s just a fact. International usage
demands more than 7 bits.

> I take it you've never programmed in C, where one character is a
> primitive data type that can be passed around trivially, but multiple
> characters are strings allocated on the heap whose allocation must be
> tracked manually? If you're working with fixed buffers, the fact that
> you can't predict the length of a string after processing is a big
> cost. It's not a huge problem in the 21st century, but not one you
> could handwave in the 20th.

Actually, I’ve been programming in C professionally for some time,
even embedded medical applications. The obvious solution to the
problem would have been a two byte character.

> The English i is not a dotted i. It may or may not have a dot,
> depending on the needs of the typography. Adding an explicit dot on
> top is forcing English (and other Latin-script languages) to conform
> to a model that doesn't really fit it in order to have a model that
> fits Turkish well.

The fi ligature’s i is a dotted i: its dot is ligated with the
ascender of f. Had the i been dotless, there wouldn’t be point in
ligating in the first place. Adding an explicit dot on top is forcing
English and other Latin-script languages to conform to a unified
model, which fits the whole set of languages written in the modern
Latin script, including Turkish.

Received on Thu Jan 31 2013 - 20:43:21 CST

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