RE: Devanagari question

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 07:35:25 EST

Antoine Leca wrote:
> My understanding is that there are a number of similar cases,
> which are not
> officially prohibited (AFAIK), but does not carry any sense.
> For example, how about digits followed by accents (as
> combining marks)?
> Or the kana voicing/voiceless combining marks, when they
> follow anything other than hiragana or katakana?

I think that the original idea behind having combining marks in Unicode was
that *any* combination of base + diacritic should be permitted, and be
handled decently by rendering engines.

The reason for this is that there are thousands of languages in the world,
and their orthographies may require an uncommon usage of diacritics. E.g.,
talking about katakana, I think that the orthography of the Ainu language
requires some combinations of syllable + voiced sign (or was it syllable +
semivoiced sign) that do not exist in Japanese.

If font designers and d. engines implementers insist in the idea that an
"accented letter" may be rendered only if an ad-hoc glyph has been
anticipated in the font, many minority languages will never have a chance of
being supported at a reasonable cost.

This is not to say that fonts should *not* have precomposed glyphs.
Precomposed glyphs are useful in *some* cases, for providing a *better*,
*nicest*, rendering for *some* troublesome combinations.

Less common combinations, used in less known languages, may get along with a
less-than-perfect rendering -- but *no* rendering at all is not acceptable,

Sorry for stating the obvious, but I see that actual implementation often
have an attitude towards precomposed glyphs that I don't see a reason for.

_ Marco

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