Re: Uppercase ß is coming? (U+1E9E)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sat May 05 2007 - 22:37:45 CST

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

    Asmus Freytag wrote:

    >> 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.

    > I think that is not a relevant issue in this context. Everyone knows
    > that fonts don't get updated overnight. However, *if* you decide to use
    > uppercase ß in a document, it is much easier to secure a font, than to
    > secure special layout support.

    Not necessarily. I was deliberately targeting layout support that already exists in a wide
    range of systems and applications. Of course, to get the special glyph one would still
    need appropriate fonts with corresponding layout lookups, but what I considered attractive
    about the option I proposed was that the fallback position, in the absence of an
    appropriate font, would be 'SS' and not a 'notdef box.

    > Initially, most of the usage will be for
    > such items as cited in the proposal: book covers, signs, menus etc., all
    > documents for which the use of specialized fonts is an acceptable
    > restriction. Once the character has percolated into standard fonts, it
    > will be available for those online documents that rely on the fonts at
    > the user agent.

    It's that percolation process that concerns me. I can imagine support for the new
    character being added to new fonts, but the more it is used the more pressure it puts on
    font companies to update their entire libraries, especially if the fallback position is as
    seriously unwanted as .notdef. I was involved in updating the font library of a major
    German font company to support the euro character (1500+ fonts in multiple formats), and I
    have a good idea of the investment of money and time that required.

    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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