bugFree UCS Outline Fonts - Bugs: bug #39806, Greek iota adscript conventions


bug #39806: Greek iota adscript conventions

Submitted by:  Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Submitted on:  Sun 18 Aug 2013 02:24:18 PM UTC  
Category:  individual character(s) Severity:  1 - Wish
Item Group:  glyph(s) incorrect Status:  Fix posted
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  Steve White <Stevan_White>
Open/Closed:  Open Release:  2012-05-03

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Tue 24 Sep 2013 11:52:47 AM UTC, comment #27:

Problem is, the issue with Serbian glyphs involves all fonts I know of, it's not restricted to FreeSerif, while the space after capital letters with subscript iota is peculiar to FreeSerif.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 24 Sep 2013 09:07:14 AM UTC, comment #26:


To be frank, there have been a lot of reports lately, including from yourself, and we have discussed a lot of things off-line, and is hard to remember which ones were decided to have been resolved.

That's why it's best to say in the report the problem was resolved.

The other issue you mention sounds like another aspect of the general problem with PDF generating software. As several other FreeFont bug reports are due to those outside bugs, and inasmuch as I have told you that I am working on a fix the problem, I don't see the point in opening another report about it.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 22 Sep 2013 07:48:36 PM UTC, comment #25:

Yes, it's been solved, I've already told you so off-topic, you don't remember? About the space after capital letters with iota subscript, should I file a separate bug report?

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Sun 22 Sep 2013 07:24:32 PM UTC, comment #24:


The issues with PDF generating software are being discussed elsewhere. Let's not mix that in with this report, please.

Is the original problem of this solved?

(I have been meaning to write to ask... I don't think you ever responded to my commits on this last month...)

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 20 Sep 2013 11:36:27 PM UTC, comment #23:

Hello Steve,

When I try to copy a capital letter with subscript iota from XeLaTeX-generated pdf to LO, a space is added after that character, even though that very space doesn't exist in the original. This happens only with FreeSerif, not with other fonts like Old Standard TT.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Mon 26 Aug 2013 10:48:20 AM UTC, comment #22:

You're always in bad faith :( Yes, I was pointing out what you've finally realised: "in no tradition of typography is the adscript form the same as the subscript".

Thanks for appreciating my contribution at last.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Mon 26 Aug 2013 10:41:57 AM UTC, comment #21:

I'm going to retreat from part of this.

There is confusion as to which of the several options to take, for the default Unicode glyphs (no language or features specified).

I clearly thought you were pushing again to make the default glyphs with a subcripted iota, and was reacting to that -- is still a wrong thing to do for several reasons. But maybe this isn't what you were suggesting.

Your remark seems to be right, that in no tradition of typography is the adscript form the same as the subscript. Usually the adscript form is like the lower case iota, while the subscript is necessarily a much smaller mark.

The last version of FreeFont follows the Unicode samples, which uses the same outline for all of the glyphs

U+0345 ypogegrammeni combining form
U+037a ypogegrammeni
U+1fbe prosgegrammeni

This gives room to interpret the prosgegrammeni as being different from ypogegrammeni, despite the form that appears in the samples.

I'm currently experimenting prosgegrammeni of the same outline as iota. It would also slightly simplify some of the logic in the tables (which is nonetheless awful).


Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Mon 26 Aug 2013 07:45:23 AM UTC, comment #20:

If the glyphs are wrong, please write to the Unicode consortium about it.

There have been a few places where the Unicode samples had glyphs that were just wrong, and I made a useful glyph. (I think also in a couple of cases, the sample glyph was changed in a subsequent version.) Adherance isn't paramount -- usefulness is.

One use is to display a Unicode table, and it's very confusing for the table to show something besides what is in the standard. We will get bug reports. (I seem to remember that at one time I took some advice to put the iotas under the caps letters, and I was quickly told to "correct" them.)

As we have already discussed, in this case there are several
conventions (or traditions) for displaying the letters. One of them (like it or not) is the Unicode standard.

The approach I have taken is a very good one, that fills the most purposes.

As to the issue of small caps, as I have said several times, has not yet been attacked. This is a work in progress. (I haven't even finished implementing small caps!!!) It is far more messy than you know, and will take some thought and experimentation to work out. Please have some patience.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 25 Aug 2013 05:28:50 PM UTC, comment #19:

I see for your adherence to Unicode standard is paramount, but what if Unicode's glyphs are wrong, that is they don't represent any particular tradition?

Anyway, if this is your position, then it should also be applied to small caps: unless language=Greek, they get the same mini iota adscript as normal capitals.

Also UPSILON in small caps should take the Unicode-proposed shape unless, again, language=Greek.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Sun 25 Aug 2013 04:20:58 PM UTC, comment #18:

Where do you see an inconsistency here?
This is exactly how I intended it to be.

The idea is that the basic glyph is like the Unicode.
For text properly marked as being a given language, alterations appropriat for that language are made.
Finally, stylistic adjustments can be made.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 23 Aug 2013 03:36:41 PM UTC, comment #17:

I know there's the alternate style for it, but I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there's an inconsistency in how the false diphthong is handled in capital letters:

no language specified: small iota adscript
language=Greek: iota subscript
language=Greek+cv06: iota adscript

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Fri 23 Aug 2013 03:27:09 PM UTC, comment #16:

If you want the iota rather than the prosgegrammeni glyph, apply cv06.

The adscript thing is not used in math at all. It is only a Greek language tradition.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Fri 23 Aug 2013 02:38:45 PM UTC, comment #15:

However, changes are applied only if language=Greek, if it's not specified there's the small iota as an adscript, which is bad. If you want to keep the adscript in mathematical usage, you'll have to make it a normal-sized iota.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Fri 23 Aug 2013 12:05:35 PM UTC, comment #14:

I've downloaded the last version and the italic capital now bears a subscript just like the upright version.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Wed 21 Aug 2013 11:32:43 PM UTC, comment #13:

Good, however you still need to update the italic, bold and bold italic styles with the new glyphs.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Wed 21 Aug 2013 09:00:46 PM UTC, comment #12:

Try it again. The roles of Greek default and style are reversed.

Note: Haralambous' "From Unicode to Typography, a Case Study: the Greek Script" is of use here.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Wed 21 Aug 2013 10:33:31 AM UTC, comment #11:

Dear Steve,

You said putting the iota beneath makes the best sense typographically, so I replied that in Greece this is the used convention, not just ecclesiastical Greek but secular (polytonic) Greek.

So, yes, "small iota adscript would be better as the style set, and the letter centered beneath being the default for Greek text".

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 20 Aug 2013 11:29:57 PM UTC, comment #10:

Maybe I don't quite follow what you're agreeing with.

It sounds like you would prefer the iota centered beneath the letter to be the default for Greek. My understanding from the references was that this was standard for ecclesiatical Greek, but not outside that.

Are you saying the small iota adscript would be better as the style set, and the letter centered beneath being the default for Greek text?

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Tue 20 Aug 2013 09:25:55 PM UTC, comment #9:

I think as much: yeah, go for it, make the subscript a default even in capital letters. By the way, it's the standard in Greece, so this tips the scales in favour of the subscript solution. If subscript is the default, there is no problem for all-caps. The adscript then goes into stylistic set and in that case the adscript gets capitalised as well.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 20 Aug 2013 09:13:36 PM UTC, comment #8:


OK, I made the adscripted iota to be the default for Greek text.

But I also think that typographically, putting the iota beneath the capital makes the best sense. Since this form is still used, I made that a style set.

This doesn't address the question of what to do for all-caps.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Tue 20 Aug 2013 06:33:43 PM UTC, comment #7:

I've tried and I found it all right. However, I find it objectionable it's not the default style. The alternative style should be used for placing the subscript on capital letters too.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 20 Aug 2013 03:18:42 PM UTC, comment #6:

This is how it ought to be:

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 20 Aug 2013 03:17:18 PM UTC, comment #5:


"[in capital letters] the adscript iota regularly takes the shape of the normal lowercase iota letter"

Either this or subscript iota, but you can't use for the adscript the glyph of the subscript iota, it's got to be the normal iota, having the glyph you have right now it's not a matter of choice or stylistic set, it's wrong.

Sorry for the bluntness, but I think I need to get my point across to you.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Tue 20 Aug 2013 01:54:39 PM UTC, comment #4:

Try it out. Normal face only, style set 06.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Tue 20 Aug 2013 12:11:26 PM UTC, comment #3:

Hi Rosella,

The Wikipedia article doesn't seem to support your claim. It speaks of several conventions, of which the "Unicode solution" is used in Greece, while the adscript is used in Western printing.

But I don't really understand all this: the one convention you're asking for seems to be that the ypogrammeni be replaced with an iota. I could do that with yet another style.

This is getting to be a stylistic menagerie.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 18 Aug 2013 10:56:54 PM UTC, comment #2:

I see, however my evidence is compelling:


As you can see, the solution proposed by the Unicode Consortium, namely putting the subscript iota adjacent to capital letter is nowhere endorsed and you won't find this in any manuscript or inscription.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>
Sun 18 Aug 2013 09:36:34 PM UTC, comment #1:

Hi Rosella,

Am I right to assume you mean the ypogrammeni in the Greek Extended range, as illustrated in

I seem to remember a discussion where this was discussed, and it came down to another stylistic choice.

Please confirm that we're on the same page, and provide external evidence for your claim.

Steve White <Stevan_White>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Sun 18 Aug 2013 02:24:18 PM UTC, original submission:

The iota adscript on capital letters appears to be the same as the subscript on small letters. Instead, the adscript should be the same as normal iota, or you could have a subscript even on capital letters, the best thing is, I think, to devise a salt table for subscript on capital letters.

Rosella Capriotti <rosy58>


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    Follow 5 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2013-08-20 Stevan_White StatusNeed info => Fix posted
    2013-08-20 Stevan_White Severity3 - Normal => 1 - Wish
        SummaryIota adscript on capital letters wrong => Greek iota adscript conventions
    2013-08-18 Stevan_White StatusNone => Need info
        Assigned toNone => Stevan_White

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