Standaridized variation sequences for the Desert alphabet?

Mark Davis ☕️ mark at
Tue Mar 28 05:59:00 CDT 2017

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 12:39 PM, Martin J. Dürst <duerst at>


No, your work wouldn't be impossible. It might be quite a bit more
> difficult, but not impossible. I have written papers about Han ideographs
> and Japanese text processing where I had to create my own fonts (8-bit,
> with mostly random assignments of characters because these were one-off
> jobs), or fake things with inline bitmap images (trying to get information
> on the final printer resolution and how many black pixels wide a stem or
> crossbar would have to be to avoid dropouts, and not being very successful).
> I have heard the argument that some character variant is needed because of
> research, history,... quite a few times. If a character has indeed been
> historically used in a contrasting way, this is definitely a good argument
> for encoding. But if a character just looked somewhat different a few
> (hundreds of) years ago, that doesn't make such a good argument. Otherwise,
> somebody may want to propose new codepoints for Bodoni and Helvetica,...

​I agree with Martin.

Moreover, his last paragraphs are getting at the crux of the matter.
Unicode is not a registry of glyphs for letters, nor should try to be.
Simply because someone used a particular shape at some time to mean a
letter doesn't mean that Unicode should encode a letter for that shape. We
do not need to capture all of the shapes in
simply because somebody is going to "publish a volume full of" those shapes.

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