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superiors, inferiors, ordinals, etc. (was: [CSSWG] Minutes and Resolutions 2010-03-17)

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 18:25:50 -0700
Message-ID: <4BAABB9E.7040108@tiro.com>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Christoph Päper wrote:

> Before I read John Hudson’s mail I thought ‘subs’ and ‘supr’ only applied to digits whereas ‘ordn’ and ‘sinf’ included letters, since the descriptions on <http://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/featurelist.htm> read that way. I would then have had suggested values to enable these separately, but it seems we should combine ‘subs’ and ‘sinf’ anyhow and perhaps we also can combine ‘supr’ and ‘ordn’.

Ordinals may have different glyphs than superior letters, as some 
conventions for ordinals following numbers involve underscores below the 
ordinal. I would not advise unifying 'supr' and 'ordn'.


I am a little late to this discussion, so perhaps the following question 
has already been discussed:

What is the expected behaviour when a character string tagged as e.g. 
superior includes some characters for which e.g. OTL <sups> substitute 
glyphs are provided and some for which they are not?

As a practical example: many Latin script fonts these days will contain 
lowercase a-z superior variant glyphs, but not uppercase A-Z. The latter 
are uncommon and almost never found in typical text typography. They are 
encountered in academic works though, notably in the apparatus of 
critical editions (alongside things like superior Greek letters, missing 
from many fonts that support Greek characters). Obviously, use of an 
appropriate specialist typeface is the best solution, but with regard to 
fallback, it is likely that such texts may need to be rendered with only 
a subset of requested superior glyphs.


John Hudson
Received on Thursday, 25 March 2010 01:26:24 GMT

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