> If Unicode doesn't consider them to be distinct characters, then I see no
> reason why LaTeX should. In general, we don't (as users of TeX or some
> extension) select a glyph from a font, as the font is already a mapping
> from characters to glyphs. If the user wants a

The mapping is not always unique.

>specific rendering of a
> character then he should choose a font where the character is rendered in
> that way, not request that each font should provide all alternative
> renderings.

No, no. A font can contain glyphs variants so that
the user can select that he wants (for example,
Greek lunate sigma and medial beta are included in
several fonts, as well as simplied and traditional
Chinese ideograms). They are completely different
glyphs, even if they represent the same char; note
that many of them are included in Unicode only for
compatibility and their use is discouraged.

> You have to encode the hyphenation patterns somehow. As Unicode will cover
> all known scripts it can be used as a universal encoding. Furthermore I
> thought that there were OCPs (acting approximately at \shipout time) that
> converted from Unicode to the actual font encodings when they are not the
> same. Is this not correct?

But even so, the encoding used when hyphenating
is _always_ the font encoding.

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