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I note in passing that the thread you link to also contains a
more-or-less
definitive answer to a question I asked a few weeks ago, namely the
(Unicode-) approved method of representing a combining diacritic in
isolation (e.g. a book that talks about diacritics and prints them
without
combining them with anything), which is also the solution I arrived at
myself, namely to combine them with the non-breaking space character
(U+00A0), rather than with a standard space.  ... though it also raises
the question of whether Unicode's 'spacing' diacritic variants should be
used
at all in XML, since they decompose (as I understand it) to ordinary
space
(U+0020) plus combining diacritic. Would a processor that recognizes
that fact not then collapse the implied space with surrounding
whitespace?

pfs

On Tue, Nov 26, 2013, at 11:31, Martin Holmes wrote:
> I would expect this to be problematic, and I wouldn't rely on any 
> predictable behaviour. This thread on a W3C list:
> 
> <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-bugzilla/2011Oct/0068.html>
> 
> suggests that the idea of a text node in HTML consisting only of a 
> combining diacritical mark is itself controversial.
> 
> I've been digging around in the W3C specs a little, and I can't find 
> anything specifically relating to this, though -- does anyone know 
> whether there is any definitive statement about the acceptability or 
> otherwise of a text node which consists only of a combining diacritic 
> (or begins with one)?
> 
> Cheers,
> Martin
> 
> On 13-11-26 12:26 AM, Peter Boot wrote:
> > Hello list,
> >
> >>From the department of curiosities:
> >
> > In one of the texts we’re editing, acute accents in red have been added to a base letter in black. I’m not sure whether this should work, but when I try to encode this as:
> >        e<seg style="color:red">&#x0301;</seg>
> > (which uses the combining character acute accent)
> > Sebastian’s stylesheets create
> >       e<span style="color:red">́</span>
> > and I was pleasantly surprised that the major browsers understand that in spite of the intervening markup, the combining accent belongs to the preceding character. Chrome even displays the character and accent in the correct colours! (IE and Firefox don’t).
> >
> > Would you think this behaviour (merging of character and combining accent in spite of intervening markup) is something that we can rely on? Would you expect browsers to develop better support for characters and accents in different colours?
> >
> > Peter
> >
> 
> -- 
> Martin Holmes
> University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
> ([log in to unmask])
-- 
Paul Schaffner  Digital Library Production Service
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