Re: Uppercase ß is coming? (U+1E9E)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 21:00:45 CST

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

    Asmus wrote:

    > With increasing use of ALL UPPERCASE text, users continue to be bothered
    > by the need to give up orthographic distinctions when using standard
    > orthography. Therefore, the documented *ongoing* use of ß in ALL
    > UPPERCASE context. The use of uppercase ß is intended as a glyph variant
    > not of SS but of ß when used in ALL UPPERCASE text (where its standard
    > glyph does not fit well, having a descender, etc.)

    > ß is not ss and uppercase ß is not SS.

    > (but standard orthography decrees that the UppercaseOf(ß) is to be "SS"
    > - that's the crux of the issue and the reason for the continued minority
    > opinion and practice(!) on this issue).

    > Searching for glyph variants of "SS" is not helpful, as it would
    > obliterate a (searchable) text distinction desired by the users, and
    > searching for ways to treat this as glyph variant of ß is not helpful,
    > because Unicode decided long ago not to treat upper and lower case as
    > glyph variants.

    > I continue to conclude that this proposal should be approved as presented.

    And I agree, if this is, in fact, a mechanism to get the sensible minority usage into the
    mainstream and eventually affect a reform of the standard orthography (which would
    certainly be facilitated by Unicode defining casing in such a way as to facilitate
    equivalance in searching, sorting, etc.). I sort of gathered from the proposal that this
    was very much *not* the intent, so I've been approaching the matter from that perspective,
    trying to see if there is a way to facilitate the use of this letterform within the
    existing implementations of the standard orthography, rather than as something excluded,
    in parallel and in competition with that orthography.

    But if Germans *want* the competition, by all means encode the character. The competition
    will take place in the realm of user frustration: a struggle between the frustration of
    losing the semantic distinction of ß and ss in allcaps text and the frustration of seeing
    .notdef boxes appearing when most fonts are used.

    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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