Code2003 is a rip-off

Richard Wordingham richard.wordingham at
Mon Aug 17 03:12:54 CDT 2020

On Sun, 16 Aug 2020 02:32:28 +0000
James Kass via Unicode <unicode at> wrote:

> (This was sent off-list to Richard Wordingham but I'd intended to
> reply to the list.)

> On 2020-08-16 1:21 AM, James Kass wrote:

> > On 2020-08-16 1:11 AM, Richard Wordingham via Unicode wrote:  

>>>> Bringing the matter more clearly into the scope of this list, is
>>>> the original goal of Code2000 still achievable?  Is it achievable
>>>> without horrendous artistic compromises?  

>>> I believe it is possible.  Not in a single font, of course, unless
>>> the specs change.  

>> I meant coverage of the assigned BMP in a single font.  

> Ahh.  Yes, I think so.  Haven't done the math, though.  Such a font 
> would be well suited for populating charts but complex shaping 
> wouldn't be happening.  So running text in complex scripts would 
> render poorly.  But not supporting any BMP PUA characters in the
> font might leave enough room for unmapped glyphs such as ligatures
> to make complex shaping possible for at least some of the BMP
> scripts.  

Chopping out most complex script support was one instance of unethical
behaviour in Code2003!  I'm not sure how far one can cut Devanagari
support back, but I think one has to support at least repha for an
honest claim to support Devanagari. Other Indic scripts are less
forgiving - an 'invisible stacker' (of which there are five in the BMP)
generally compels a change of shape, though a ghastly font might be
able to do tricks for some characters by positioning base glyphs below
instead of having to have a subscript glyph.  The visible glyphs of
invisible stackers are meant to be reminders that character input is
still in progress.

Of course, shaping in 'simple' scripts can need extra glyphs as well -
the 5 IPA tone characters in the Spacing Modifer Letters need at
least an extra 20 glyph IDs.  


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