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Subject: Re: [xsl] Will every XSLT processor reduce upper-case('ß') to SS ?
From: Wolfgang Laun <wolfgang.laun@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 08:57:22 +0100

On 05/01/2013, Michael Kay <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>The upper-case _ recently added to Unicode is a rarity.

Due to its recent invention. This shouldn't deter you from using it, if
possible - see below.

> The _ character is historically a ligature formed from a long s and a z,

... and also from a combination of "long s" and "round s".

> and since long s is encountered only in lower-case,

Hmm, both "long s" and "round s" are just lower case graphemes. The
distinction is necessary in Gothic types and the (outdated) Kurrent
handwriting, where the "long s" must be used at the start and in the
interior of a syllable, and the "round s" is mandatory at the end. The
upper case S in Gothic and Kurrent is neither "round" nor "long". (In
Kurrent, the glyph for 'S' is distinct from both lower case 's' forms;
in some Gothic fonts it resembles a 'G' more than anything else.)

> there's good reason
> to argue that the upper-case form should be "SZ" in archaic uses and
> "SS" in modern uses.

Please don't argue with "archaic uses". The history of this ligature
in convoluted enough, with (for instance) archaic rules for
representing the Gothic "sharp s" in a roman type by the combination
of a "long s" and a "round s" (besides a proper lower case roman
"sharp s"), which was valid up to 1915. It's a good thing that the
"long s" has disappeared from German texts typeset in roman fonts: it
is almost indistinguishable from 'f', with only the right half of the
horizontal bar missing.

My summary for converting '_' to upper case:

(1) If you need to follow the current rules of German spelling,
replace '_' by 'SS'.
(1a) As an exception, where German law requires the preservation of
the spelling of proper names: leave '_' as '_' (lower case, or use
(2) If you(r software) can, use the new upper case '_' defined by
Unicode and according to ISO/IEC 10646; otherwise follow (1).


> Michael Kay
> Saxonica

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