From: Ernest Cline (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 13:12:07 EST
> [Original Message]
> From: Asmus Freytag <email@example.com>
> At 12:19 PM 3/29/2004, Ernest Cline wrote:
> >UAX #14 makes a rather definitive statement on this issue, albeit
> >in an obscure place, in Section 3: Introduction.
> 4.0.1 will amend that section to correct the wrong impression that NBSP is
> fixed width and to clarify that this statement is not intended to cover
> specialized cases, but just ordinary typographical conventions:
> I'm sorry if the fact that the placement and context of text was not
> to guide the reader. Note that the 'obscure place' was in the
> introduction (!) of the UAX, where it was a mere note on a subject not
> actually covered by the UAX (i.e. line layout) that nevertheless forms
> the context in which linebreaking happens.
True, but it was the only guidance on the subject that is present in
Unicode 4.0.0, and there do exist widely used applications that do
treat NBSP as a fixed width space.
Still, there is a need for a fixed width space with a width equal to the
unjustified width of a normal space . With NBSP being ruled out
for that job, that leaves FIGURE SPACE, MMSP, and FOUR-PER-EM
SPACE as the closest alternatives, but none of them are guaranteed
to be exactly that width, even if they are available. I suppose
suspending justification for just one space via a higher-level
protocol could work, except I'm not aware of any such protocol that
works at a fine-enough grain to do that. Also, one could by that argument
also argue that many of the current fixed width spaces could be
handled by higher level protocol as well.
Perhaps a possible U+2064 NONJUSTIFYING SPACE would make
sense with line breaking class BA like most of the other fixed width
spaces. (I would have preferred proposing U+205E to place it
adjoining MMSP, but that code point is already in the pipeline.)
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