Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Mon Mar 29 2004 - 07:59:04 EST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels"

    On 28/03/2004 18:35, wrote:

    > ...
    >People generating texts for educational purposes will always have special needs.
    >So, they'll always need to make special effort to get special effects. Workarounds
    >concerning the original question have already been suggested.
    >If this is treated as a Unicode issue rather than a display issue, then one solution
    >would be for someone to propose a new character, (back on topic a little bit)
    >Then, rather than inserting DOTTED CIRCLE into the display, a rendering engine
    >could be changed to insert this new character. Then, these updated rendering
    >engines could be distributed and font developers could add the new characters
    >to fonts and distribute updated fonts. This might just take a while, but it
    >wouldn't be too hard to find examples of the character in actual text use to
    >accompany the proposal...
    >"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." So, is it 'broke'?
    >Best regards,
    >James Kass
    I will say again as I have said before - but the above (and what I
    snipped) is extra evidence for it - that what is broke (in the old or
    dialect sense "broken" rather than the modern sense "without money") is
    the rule that the isolated (generally spacing) form of a combining mark
    should be formed by SPACE or NBSP followed by the combining mark. There
    are many good reasons for not using SPACE for this, including default
    behaviour like inserting line breaks immediately after SPACE. The good
    additional reason James has given is that SPACE followed by the
    combining mark is often a mistake (and so it is sensible to add the
    dotted circle), but there is a need in certain kinds of texts to display
    isolated combining marks.

    Using NBSP rather than SPACE has several advantages, and has long been
    specified in Unicode, although not widely implemented. It is less likely
    to occur accidentally. But it has disadvantages, especially that it will
    always be a spacing character, whereas for display of isolated Indic
    vowels no extra spacing is required.

    I would like to repeat my earlier proposal for a new character ISOLATED
    COMBINING MARK BASE. This character would have no glyph, and the general
    properties of a letter. Its spacing would be just as much as required
    for proper display of the combining mark - which would be zero for
    combining marks which have their own width.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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