incorrect ligatures in German locale

Bug #750670 reported by mach on 2011-04-04
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Translations
Ubuntu German Translators

Bug Description

Unlike in English typography, in German typography ligatures are not always allowed. Ligatures across internal word boundaries are disallowed (see the section "Richtlinien für den Schriftsatz" in the Duden Rechtschreibung). An example for such a word is "Auflösung" ('resolution', as in the display settings). There should be no fl-ligature in words like "Auflösung". In the current German locale, there is.

This problem is less salient in Maverick than in Lucid, but only because the ligatures of the new default system font (Dalton Maag's Ubuntu) are not visibly different from the unligated letters. The basic problem persists, though. It can be reproduced by choosing a system font that displays ligatures (for instance "Sans" as in Lucid).

Of course, this problem is hardly noticeable at all. On one hand, the difference between a ligature and an unligated character sequence is hardly noticeable in today's typical system font (it is more noticeable in other fonts, e.g. Donald Knuth's Computer Modern). On the other hand, most people happily ignore the fact that ligatures are disallowed in some instances.

In the very most ideal of worlds, this problem would be fixed by a system-wide automatic tool similar to a spell checker that would be called for by the German locale.

In a more realistic, but still pretty ideal world, this problem would be fixed by manually inserting the character U+200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER (ZWNJ) in order to prohibit the ligature in the cases where it is disallowed. Only very few cases are affected, basically certain instances of "fl" and "ff". Certain instances of "fi" are potentially affected, but only in highly unlikely words such as "Schilfinsel" ('reed island'). If you want to achieve compatibility with fraktur fonts (which are equally unlikely), then certain instances of "tz" need to be fixed too, for instance, "Zeitzone" ('time zone').

In a less ideal world, fixing this problem would be impossible because of a poor implementation of the ZWNJ.

Daniel Schury (surst) on 2011-04-04
Changed in ubuntu-translations:
assignee: nobody → Ubuntu German Translators (ubuntu-l10n-de)
assignee: Ubuntu German Translators (ubuntu-l10n-de) → Launchpad German Translators (lp-l10n-de)
assignee: Launchpad German Translators (lp-l10n-de) → Ubuntu German Translators (ubuntu-l10n-de)
David Planella (dpm) on 2011-04-14
Changed in ubuntu-translations:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
Hendrik Knackstedt (hennekn) wrote :

I don't think there is an easy way to fix this and it is not an issue I would like to put much time into since most people won't even notice. Since I cannot set to »Won't fix« I'll close this bug as invalid.

Changed in ubuntu-translations:
status: Triaged → Invalid
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