[XeTeX] Adressing the long s
bernhard.fisseni at uni-due.de
Sun Aug 10 14:58:15 CEST 2008
Scripsit Jonathan Kew diē 10.8.2008 13:19:
> The best approach use the character U+017F 'ſ' directly in your input
> text (or if that's not convenient, use a TeX macro that expands to
> it). That is the Unicode-compliant way to represent the data. Trying
> to automatically generate 'ſ' where the input text contains 's', using
> special font features, may seem like a handy trick but will lead to
> more trouble than it's worth.
Indeed; for German (as in Albert's examples), if you want to follow
the ‘classical’ rules (short "s" at the end of a syllable, long "s"
elsewhere) it would also mean that the font (or the font renderer or…)
would have to do some morphological parsing („Au(-)ſtralien“, unlike
„Aus(-)tragung“ does not contain a prefix „aus-“) and some kind of
ambiguity resolution (in the well-known – if rare –
Wachs-tube/Wach-ſtube cases etc.), or you'd have to use many invisible
For longer (German) texts, it might be interesting to write something
like rmligs for generating good guesses for long and short "s"s which
can then be post-edited? (I might be tempted to get involved if you
approach this, Albert.)
 I'm not sure of the rules for English, but even if they were the
same, I suppose that there are fewer exceptions due to the difference in
 Now that you may separate "s" and "t" in the ‘new’ spelling, this
particular case may have changed; others, like the "Wachstube" remain.
And, of course, if one uses the long "s", it will mostly be in cases
where one follows some original use.
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