a character for an unknown character

Leo Broukhis leobro at gmail.com
Thu Dec 22 18:31:47 CST 2016

You may want to consider U+2370 APL FUNCTIONAL SYMBOL QUAD QUESTION.


On Dec 22, 2016 15:35, "Martin Mueller" <martinmueller at northwestern.edu>

These are very handsome and interesting. But for the purposes of my
project, which involves folks here, there, and everywhere working on
editorial problems relating to digital transcriptions of Early Modern
texts, the cardinal requirement is that the character can be found on and
deployed from any Windows, Linux, or OS 10 machin. We have used the black
dot (\u25cf) as a kludge. Since it does not occur in the source data, there
is no ambiguity. It is relatively easy to produce on a keyboard. From a
visual perspective it is preferable to the diamond with a question
mark—although that is semantically more obvious. But it is visually very
disruptive, and it is much harder to find on a standard character map than
the black dot, which is predictably located in geometrical shapes.

It’s a kludge, but it works, and it looks to me superior to any of the
alternatives. But I can be persuaded otherwise.

With thanks for the help of all of you


On 12/22/16, 6:03 AM, "William_J_G Overington" <wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com>

    Martin Mueller wrote:

    > Is there a Unicode character that says “I represent an alphanumerical
character, but I don’t know which”.  This is a very common problem in the
transcription of historical texts where you have lacunas.

    I have been reading this thread with interest.

    I have produced nine designs for glyphs.

    If you so choose, you can assign specific meanings to one, some, or all
of them. If you need more than nine designs please say.

    Please find attached nine .png files, one glyph design in each file.

    The size of each of the images and the names of the files follow the
following specification.


    However the images are not congruently in accordance with those rules
as there is a one pixel width transparent surround as the designs were made
using filled rectangles upon a theoretical seven row by seven column
arrangement of blocks, each block ten pixels by ten pixels. I used the
Serif PagePlus X7 desktop publishing program.

    The characters are not intended as emoji, I just applied the above
specification as it is convenient to make the designs compatible with that
specification as far as possible.

    I have assigned Private Use Area code points of U+EA60 through to
U+EA68 to the glyphs. The specific code point for each glyph is indicated
in the file name of the image of that glyph.

    I have chosen those code points as the Alt codes for U+EA60 through to
U+EA68 are Alt 60000 through to Alt 60008 respectively. My thinking being
that if the designs are implemented in fonts that those easy to remember
Alt codes might be helpful to someone using the Microsoft WordPad program.

    I checked that those code points are not being used in the Medieval
Unicode Font Initiative.


    Readers who so choose are welcome to implement these glyphs in fonts.

    The https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.
VMzwU8ONTcLHvFcK5hcR9yj5TT3SzYSs-YYB8IGRq_A&e=  specification mentions
licensing. For the avoidance of doubt these designs are free to share and

    A Private Use Area solution is not ideal, yet may be helpful in getting
things started and could be helpful in establishing usage, which could help
in getting the characters implemented into regular Unicode.

    I am attaching the images to this email. The nature of the email system
is that the order of the images might not be in the order of the code
points, yet each image has an indication of the code point within its name
so that information should help to resolve any such problem in the
transmission of the email attachments.

    William Overington

    Thursday 22 December 2016
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