non-breaking snakes

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Fri May 6 10:21:28 CDT 2016

On Wed, 4 May 2016 08:27:55 +0100, Richard Wordingham  wrote:

> On Wed, 4 May 2016 07:54:48 +0100 (BST)
> Julian Bradfield  wrote:
> > See
> >
> > (making sure to look at the mouse-over text)
> I though kashida (TATWEEL) was a precedent not to be followed. The
> issue of course, is that chained snakes do not reflow well, just as
> filler text doesn't.

On Wed, 4 May 2016 13:15:08 +0200, Philippe Verdy  wrote:

> Those "snakes" do exist in Arabic for justification purpose (they are
> formatting controls insertable between pairs of joined letters and possibly
> used as base holders for diacritics).
> […]

On Wed, 4 May 2016 09:59:04 -0300, Leonardo Boiko  wrote:

> 2016-05-04 4:14 GMT-03:00 Shriramana Sharma :
> > Isn't there some Japanese orthography feature that already does
> > something like this? 
> […] In fact, most kinds of Japanese calligraphy prize
> variation in line length, not uniformity. […]

On Wed, 04 May 2016 07:29:20 -0700, Doug Ewell  wrote:

> 1F40D FE0F
> The VS just makes extra, extra sure that it’s emoji.

Hmm… I guess the principle of diversity should then 
allow for other long animals too: various caterpillars, 
squirrel running on a branch…

More seriously, if animal pictographs are downgraded 
to mere line-fillers, Iʼm not sure whether the text style 
variation selector U+FE0E would not be a good choice.

Why not tackle it the other way around: standardize 
sequences of U+2012..U+2015, U+2E3A with some of 
the other ~250 variation selectors to make them look 
like extensible vegetal or animal ornaments. Or simply 
chain the VSes with repeated U+002D.

If there were a vote, Iʼd prefer word-break in scripts 
that allow for, in case justification is really required 
(to make a hieratic look); or in scripts that cannot break 
words, as Hebrew, using the letter extension mechanisms. 

As of letter spacing, abusing it for justifiction purposes 
is current in some languages but is not semantically neutral
—TUS recalls—in others that may be very close geographically. 
What helps making a proper layout on one side of the Rhine, 
is yelling on the other.

So yes, then abusing emoji is the lesser evil   :)


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