Text encoding Babel. Was Re: George Keremedjiev

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Tue Nov 27 20:10:08 CST 2018

On 2018-11-27 8:33 PM, Grant Taylor via cctalk wrote:
> ...
>> Bold or italic or underlined text shouldn't be a second class concept,
>> they have meaning that can be lost when text is conveyed in
>> circa-1868-plain-text. I've read many letters that predate the
>> invention of the typewriter, emphasis is often conveyed using
>> underlines or darkened letters.
> I don't think of bold or italic or underline as second class concepts. I
> tend to think of the following attributes that can be applied to text:
>  · bold
>  · italic
>  · overline
>  · strike through
>  · underline
>  · superscript exclusive or subscript
>  · uppercase exclusive or lowercase
>  · opposing case
>  · normal (none of the above)

This covers only a small fraction of the Latin-centric typographic
palette - much of which has existed for 500 years in print (non-Latin
much older). Computerisation has only impoverished that palette, and
this is how it happens: Checklists instead of research.

Work with typographers when trying to represent typography in a
computer. The late Hermann Zapf was Knuth's close friend. That's the
kind of expertise you need on your team.


> I don't think that normal is superior to the other four (five) in any
> way.  I do think that normal does occur VASTLY more frequently than the
> any combination of the others.  As such normal is what things default to
> as an optimization.  IMHO that optimization does not relegate the other
> styles to second class.
> ...

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