Re: Uppercase ß is coming? (U+1E9E)

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sat May 05 2007 - 23:25:15 CST

  • Next message: Frank Ellermann: "Re: Uppercase is coming? (U+1E9E)"

    On 5/5/2007 9:37 PM, John Hudson wrote:
    > 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.
    I realized that. But it would make the searchable text "SS" as well, and
    that's not really appropriate here and I suspect doing so would really
    hurt in the long term.
    >> 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.
    OK. I grant you that. However, unlike the Euro case there's not the same
    pressure to be compliant. The downside is that proposers will have their
    work cut out to convince providers to support their new character, but
    in their particular case, I can see nothing wrong with that.

    Ceterum censeo and all that, I won't repeat myself.


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