[XeTeX] : Re: wrong uccode of ß

Adam Twardoch list.adam at twardoch.com
Mon Apr 14 12:14:07 CEST 2008

John Was wrote:
> The Unicode gurus may have decided to create a capital eszett for neatness 
> (less charitably, out of ignorance), but who will ever use it?  It is 
> incorrect typographically, since as was originally pointed out, in an 
> all-capital context one uses SS.  Possibly  on a poster or some piece of 
> artwork a giant eszett might be wanted for visual effect, but that is a 
> separate matter and shouldn't cloud the thinking of those charged with 
> evolving the Unicode standard.
It was not "the Unicode gurus" who have decided it, it was the German 
DIN standards committee. Unicode and ISO just accepted their decision.

Capital ß been used for years in specific contexts e.g. in personal 
names e.g. gravestones and in the German id cards. So far, the capital ß 
was in those situations usually written using the lowercase ß glyph 
(e.g. MICHAEL WEIß), but it's quite obvious that there is a need for a 
proper glyph for it. Quite a few metal fonts made in Germany in the 
pre-WWII period had a glyph for an uppercase ß.

There are countless other historical and current documents that prove 
that it has been used at some point, there is even one edition of the 
"Große Duden" (the major spelling dictionary for German) which uses a 
capital ß on the cover.

It may never become the _standard_ uppercase mapping for the lowercase ß 
in everyday texts, but that's beyond the point.

Peter Dyballa wrote:
> This is Unicode 5.1, from some days ago. The first fonts with that  
> new glyph might be available at Christmas (year unknown) …
Dozens of such fonts are available already.

For more discussion and information see:



Adam Twardoch
| Language Typography Unicode Fonts OpenType
| twardoch.com | silesian.com | fontlab.net
| Marchlewskistr. 24 | D-10243 Berlin | Germany |
| mobile +4917620114051 | Berlin +493021237390 |

More information about the XeTeX mailing list