Purpose of and rationale behind Go Markers U+2686 to U+2689

Garth Wallace gwalla at gmail.com
Fri Mar 18 14:55:45 CDT 2016

On Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 11:48 AM, Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
> 2016-03-18 19:11 GMT+01:00 Garth Wallace <gwalla at gmail.com>:
>> > The issues with line breaking (if you can use these combining around all
>> > characters, inclusing spaces, can be solved using unbreakable
>> > characters.
>> Line breaking isn't really a problem that I can see with the Quivira
>> model. If they're given the usual line breaking properties for
>> symbols, the Unicode line breaking algorithm would prevent a break
>> between halves. East Asian vertical text is another story. In a font
>> that just uses kerning to join halves (as Quivira does) you'd end up
>> with the left half on top of the right in vertical text. I'm not sure
>> how ligatures are handled in vertical text.
> East Asian vertical presentation does not just stack the elements on top of
> each other, very frequently they rotate them (including Latin/Greek/Cyrillic
> letters) So this is not really a new complication.

True. I suppose if the half-enclosed digits were defined as halfwidth,
it would work. It makes intuitive sense too, if a complete numbered
circle is assumed to fill an ideographic cell. I'm not sure if
rotation of the numbers would be desired, though.

> The numbers however are used for noting or commenting a strategy, or the
> placement order during a party.
> However for game notations purpose, rotation plays a significant role
> (notably if those two part symbols are joined in a circle or disc: it can
> make the difference between several distinct sets of stones, or it could be
> used in a 4-players go variant (where black vs. white is not sufficient to
> distinguish the players). In reality the stones would have 4 colours (stones
> are not really numbered,
> they are all the same for the same player, or there's some special marked
> type of stone for each player in addition to their normal set) or sets would
> have some symbol or dot on top of them.

Rotation is definitely not salient in standard go kifu like it is in
fairy chess notation. Go variants for more than 2 players are uncommon
enough that I don't think any sort of standardized notation exists.

> There are also go variants using stones that take a territory and block the
> position but that cnanot be taken (both players can use them, but the
> territory taken is not counted for any player.
> These stones can also be placed randomly at start of the party over the
> board to complicate the game, or there's a limited set of blocking stones
> for each player that an choose when to play them instead of standard stones.
> Those blocking stones are visually distinct, but identical for the two
> players that have them at start of the party.

Do you have any links? I'm interested in game design.

> Although the classic rules of go are extremely simple, this game has a lot
> of variants. In fact many players that don't know the exact classic rules
> are inventing their own variant.

These are generally one-off inventions (or commercial products) so I
don't think there's much need to consider their hypothetical
variations on notation.

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