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Ori Ben-Dor said:
"you can include it, of course, but you don't have to. Leaving it out won't make your font broken or substandard."
Ori Ben-Dor said:All three examples are of serif fonts suitable for long texts. The designers probably thought there's a chance they might be used for religious texts (and in the case of at least two of them, rightfully).
Ori Ben-Dor said:I live in Israel, I open my eyes, and I have never, not even once, seen any use of the elongated forms of any of those three fonts. That's just a fact.
Ori Ben-Dor said:Hyphen too is a connector, what's the difference? Maqaf is just "the Hebrew hyphen"... Moreover, the role of the hyphen/maqaf in hyphenation is exactly to connect the two otherwise seemingly separate strings and indicate they're actually one word. It's a job for a connector, isn't it?
Ori Ben-Dor said:It's not a living part of modern Hebrew typography.
Ori Ben-Dor said:
I believe many, maybe even most, Israeli Jews (at least under some age) don't even realize [the maqaf and hyphen] are two different entities.
Vasil Stanev said:I am not making a Hebrew font, people.
After I mentioned the possibility of using variable fonts in a post above, I wondered if the current spec could accommodate the positioning of diacritics, which in non-variable fonts is accomplished through the mk and mkmk features, along with a number of composite glyphs and others that are fixed and have their own Unicode numbers.
More importantly, this issue—i.e., Hebrew using both vocalization and cantillation diacritics—is exclusive to the Hebrew Bible, and that’s where the use of extended letters has the greatest tradition. (Liturgical and instructional Hebrew uses only the vocalization diacritics.) In Bible texts, the compositor applies a sense of literary hierarchy in choosing which words are given the extended letter treatment. That would be way outside any current capability for automation that I know of—someone tell me if I'm wrong. I include a couple of grammar-driven substitutions in the GSUB tables of my fonts, but only one involves diacritic positioning—pretty simple compared to the problem of applying automated variable widths based on an elaborate dictionary.
Here’s an example of some biblical text set in a very narrow column (there is translation across from it, not shown here), justified using extended letters, a number of which carry diacritics, some of them multiple:Including alternates and glyphs that are seldom used is a great achievement of OpenType and they’ve changed the choices that designers make daily. The typographic tradition of extended letters in Hebrew fonts goes back to the 1470s and for nearly four centuries they were a feature of reading the language. They disappeared in cheaply produced books that began appearing in the late 18th century and in Yiddish books of the 19th century, after the old Yiddish semi-script alphabet, Waybertaytsh, was abandoned in favor of the familiar forms. Modern Hebrew, by comparison, has a much smaller tradition, beginning only in the 1870s and 1880s and it took some decades before it began to produce some new types—largely for display, not text, which was dominated by the same middling stuff. It is, in some ways, a rigid style, much of it the result of being a minority language in the era of metal machine composition and later developments, before Fontographer. Now we have the tools to liberate it from these limitations. I’ve looked backward, to the 16th century, for inspiration. Someone else can do it by looking forward.
Hrant H. Papazian said:
(like how English sadly lost the Thorn and Eth when importing fonts from the continent),
Hrant H. Papazian said:
Does that mean they shouldn't be?Don't you see the advantages? I mean beyond the literal religious aspect.Don't you want Hebrew typography to keep evolving?For decades the Armenian «հ» looked just like the Latin "h" in virtually all fonts. I was guilty of that myself for the first few years of making fonts. But eventually I realized it's culturally impoverished, and started making –and doggedly promoting– a more authentic structure....In parallel to Armenian, I think there are good reasons to distinguish a dash for line-breaks and a dash for compound words.