Re: Uppercase ß is coming? (U+1E9E)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 12:52:01 CST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: Uppercase ß is coming? (U+1E9E)"

    Frank Ellermann wrote:

    > Well, the person who has signed this proposal works for the German
    > Home Office. I'll try to ask them why they wish to spend billions
    > for the software upgrades required for this obscure dupe of "ß".

    What software upgrades? What would be required?

    It seems to me that the proposal really implies little more than the optional provision of
    support for this character in some fonts, so that people who want to use it can. I am
    actually more concerned about the probable lack of software upgrades, which will result in
    a major hassle for users. Consider: user A creates a document in which he uses the new
    uppercase eszett character in place of SS because he happens to like it and maybe
    subscribes to the same (failed) orthographic reform ideals that inspired its creation.
    User A then sends this document to user B, or maybe he even posts it as live text on his
    website where user B goes to look at it. User B doesn't like the uppercase eszett and
    would much rather read SS in those places and, most frustratingly, doesn't have any fonts
    on his system that support the new character anyway, so gets a .notdef box everywhere the
    character occurs.

    Now, wouldn't it be a better experience for everyone involved if the display of the
    uppercase eszett were handled at the glyph level, instead of at the character level?
    Depending on font selection and/or user control of layout features, the same text could be
    displayed using the uppercase eszett or the letter sequence SS, while a plain text
    distinction could be made in any document without breaking display in fonts that do not
    support the uppercase eszett.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    We say our understanding measures how things are,
    and likewise our perception, since that is how we
    find our way around, but in fact these do not measure.
    They are measured.   -- Aristotle, Metaphysics

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