Teletext separated mosaic graphics

Rebecca Bettencourt beckiergb at
Thu Oct 1 16:32:41 CDT 2020

Separated mosaic graphics were intentionally not proposed in the first
Symbols for Legacy Proposal because it was believed at the time that it
would be possible for applications to support separated graphics using a
higher-level protocol. Since then:

1.) we have received feedback such as yours suggesting that this is easier
said than done
2.) we have found an existing private-use encoding that encodes contiguous
and separated graphics separately (possibly the one used by the font you
3.) we have also found a legacy character set that encodes contiguous and
separated *2x2* block graphics separately

For these reasons we will be proposing the separated graphics in a second
proposal, and hopefully these reasons are enough for the UTC to approve
them. However it will be several years before they appear in the Standard,
if approved.

-- Rebecca Bettencourt

On Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 1:19 PM Harriet Riddle via Unicode <
unicode at> wrote:

> It's worth pointing out that the control codes for showing mosaic
> characters as separated are also used in at least some formats to switch
> alphabetical characters to underlined display.
> See for example the definitions for SPL and STL here:
> (that document details the C1
> control codes for Data Syntax 2 Serial Videotex—which would seem to be the
> Teletext set but as a C1 set, and as such with CSI rather than ESC).
> Essentially, the expectation seems to be that an emphasised variant of a
> font would display mosaic characters separated, while a regular variant of
> a font would display them connected.
> --Har.
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Unicode <unicode-bounces at> on behalf of William_J_G
> Overington via Unicode <unicode at>
> *Sent:* 01 October 2020 18:44
> *To:* unicode at <unicode at>
> *Subject:* Re: Teletext separated mosaic graphics
> The 1976 Teletext Specification has three meanings for sixty-four of the
> character code points - lowercase letters and a few others, contiguous
> graphics, separated graphics.
> The Unicode Standard at present has the "lowercase letters and a few
> others" encoded and the "contiguous graphics" encoded separately, although,
> alas, all sixty-four contiguous graphic characters are not encoded as one
> block. My opinion is that that one-to-one directly mapped approach would
> have been preferable, but the situation is as it is.
> The twenty-seven teletext control characters have not been encoded at this
> time.
> I opine that these twenty-seven codes could be encoded within a block of
> thirty-two code points as characters that display as visual glyphs in most
> circumstances, yet are control codes in teletext apps.
> For example, Alphanumerics Green would have a visible glyph of an A above
> a G on a pale.
> That way, teletext pages from long ago and new designs could be recorded
> elegantly and conserved as the control codes in the teletext page would not
> conflict with the usual control codes of computing.
> If those twenty-seven teletext control characters were encoded separately,
> would that help in developing your app, or are you using a different
> approach?
> William Overington
> Thursday 1 October 2020
> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Rob H via Unicode" <unicode at>
> To: unicode at
> Sent: Thursday, 2020 Oct 1 At 13:46
> Subject: Teletext separated mosaic graphics
> Hi,
> I've started to develop a teletext app and plan to use the recently added
> graphic mosaic characters in the legacy computing block (the sextets). I
> see that Unicode includes the contiguous mosaics characters and not the
> separated form of those characters. I'm wondering if that was intentional?
> On one hand, that matches the teletext spec, which has one set of byte
> codes for the graphics, and uses control codes to switch between contiguous
> or separated. On the other hand it means I'll need to use styling tricks or
> a different font or glyph variations to recreate the separated graphics. It
> also means a simple text-only file of just the characters won't recreate a
> screen as the control codes to switch between contiguous/separated won't
> work.
> A font I've found which maps these characters uses the new codepoints for
> the contiguous graphics and a private codepoints for separated, which seems
> awkward to me.
> If having just the contiguous graphics was intentional, that's fine, but I
> just wanted to check.
> Regards,
> Rob.
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