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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Thierry Bouche <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 2 Mar 1999 19:25:35 +0100
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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 > (It's a unicode flaw,
 >imho, to enforce the capital/small letter distinction [two glyphs for
 >the same charachter, no?] and reject small caps,
 >lining/hanging/tabular figures).

 I disagree to the parenthesis. The distinction between upper and lower case
 letter is usually prescribed by spelling rules etc., whereas the further
 distinction of small caps is not.  The distinction of upper and lower case
 is thus more fundamental.

I see what you mean, but you're unfortunately wrong. unicode had to
choose between a charachter + markup model, or charachter only. In
fact, `uppercase' is not a charachter concept, but a glyphic one, what
is at the charachter level is what we call majuscule in french (maybe
it's what you call uppercase in swedish, after all...), but its use
may be completely determined by proper markup (end of sentence, proper
noun, even in german, you'd identify substantives, etc.) Everybody
reads with no problem an all-cap sentence where the initial majuscule
is not typographically distinguished from the other
letters. Moreover, orthotypography may require small caps in some
places (e.g. in bibliographies; as i pointed out elsewhere, small caps
were used in France in a manner of pre-HTML hypertext marks in typeset
material) exactly as it requires caps or lc. If you go for markup,
there's no need of 2 cases in a charachter encoding. If you go for
simplicity, you need the three cases.

 Shouldn't c&sc have the same digits as c&lc? (I know foundries like to have
 c&lc with upper case digits and c&sc with lower case, but there's no
 typographical reason for that, it's just how they package their product.)

you noticed i was asking for sc digits with the c&sc font, my idea
being that digits should always be compatible with the surrounding
average material, hence what glyphs are used to render "small"
(minuscule) letters.

 If you by sc digits mean digits with depth=0 and height=x-height then I
 think those should be used with the all sc, but not with any of the other.

yes that's what i mean, and they should go with all fonts having sc in
the lc slots. BTW, people will do all VFs they like to have whatever
glyph they want realizing whatever nfss variant you're asking for!

 One thing which I miss in your list above is all caps for use in lines
 mainly c&lc, for acronyms and the like. I know some people prefer to set
 these in sc, but they are intrinsically upper case, so I (any many others)
 would rather have them in this special all-caps. In practice this special
 all caps would probably be realised either using medium glyphs or as the
 all caps at a slightly smaller point size (DEK does this in the WEB user

for that, there should be an all-sc. But that is bad anglo-saxon
practice, and latex is a good french software, isn't it? ;-)
Yes, lots of people think that sc are a good way to print lots of caps
without killing the colour of their pages. But if you think, like me,
that sc have a meaning, hence are not a variant shape to things that
are semantically caps, then you simply stop putting tons of acronyms
everywhere, and never use all-sc fonts. Bringhurst addresses that
point, but he seems to try to keep compatible with both points of vue...

 Well, so does the LaTeX2e fontguide (fntguide.tex).

I confess it was not my idea, my idea was to ask what latex people's
thoughts are nowadays.

Thierry Bouche, Grenoble.