Today I have been working on All Those Weird European Letters

@rutherford I think you forgot the uppercase ß: ẞ

haha jk you only need that for passports

@Lutrinus That's a can of worms I'm going to avoid for now, at least until I speak to some pros about it

@rutherford they just introduced it. Usually, if in german you write all caps, ß just becomes SS, so Straße -> STRASSE. On Passports, names have to be all caps, which is a problem if you have an ß in your name, because then your name is changed

@Lutrinus It's a controversial topic though, 'ß' has historically never had a capital form (and officially isn't even a letter). Some people strongly support it, but I have heard good arguments against.

@rutherford Yeah, but I guess it's just a legal formality. People would get in trouble at borders because their names were written differently on different documents. I've never used it.

@Lutrinus One could argue that educating passport control officials about the ß might be better than inventing a new symbol, but then again, I don't know the specifics.

It's certainly true that having a string with different character lengths depending on whether it's upper or lowercase could be problematic.


@rutherford @Lutrinus Why do names in passports have to be set in all-caps?

@kupfers @Lutrinus The UK passport guidelines suggest it's for backwards-compatibility with IT systems. (They also allow only A–Z, not ß or ẞ, which is, I suppose, one way of dealing with the issue.)

@rutherford @Lutrinus … nor any kind of accented character, which the majority of Western languages use. To me, the arrogant supremacy of ascii-only languages is the problem.

I have a hard time imagining any OCR-system at an airport that can’t deal with lowercase letters. They were able to do so in the 1960s.

@rutherford @Lutrinus I bet you have read Peter Bilak’s fun story about his ’? (Which I can’t type on a phone 😞)

@kupfers This one?

He gave a mini-lecture at typemedia about how to write & space ď/ľ/ť — I'd love to learn more about them (and other 'rarer' diacritics)

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