Tag characters and in-line graphics (from Tag characters)

Mark E. Shoulson mark at kli.org
Fri Jun 5 17:32:08 CDT 2015

On 06/05/2015 11:36 AM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> At no point, however, did I suppose that a font with my alphabet, or any
> of the jillions of others that have been invented "during a boring day
> in class" (see Omniglot for tons of examples), should be silently
> downloaded to a user's computer, consuming bandwidth and disk space,
> without her knowledge. That's practically malware. Maybe I'm just not
> enough of a Distinguished Visionary to understand how insanely great
> this would be (unfortunately, celebrity name-dropping doesn't work with
> me).
> Unicode has stated consistently for at least 23 years that it would not
> ever standardize PUA usage, and over the years some UTC members have
> used terms like "strongly discouraged" and "not interoperable" even in
> the presence of an agreement. Given this, and given that no system I'm
> aware of magically downloads fonts for *regularly encoded characters* (I
> still have no font for Arabic math symbols), I personally would not
> expect Unicode to perform a 180 on this.\

Isn't this what webfonts are all about?  You specify a font in the 
stylesheet, give it a URL, and your browser goes and downloads it and 
displays the text in it.  That seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable 
use of this sort of "evil font trick" in the PUA (and who knows, even in 
encoded text?  No, I can think of some Bad Things that could result).  
There isn't anything to stop you from making a page with webfonts that 
looks like it says one thing but when you copy/paste the text it's 
something completely different.  I should do that someday, just for 
demonstration purposes...


More information about the Unicode mailing list