[OT] whitespace (was Re: stupid perl question)

John Machin sjmachin at lexicon.net
Wed May 31 14:36:09 CEST 2006


On 31/05/2006 8:17 PM, Sion Arrowsmith wrote:
> John Machin  <sjmachin at lexicon.net> wrote:
>> Whitespace is a silly term, anyway (IMHO); is there such a 
>> thing as a space that is not white?
> 
> Yes, if you go back to the term's origins in printshops. A solid
> block of ink is space, not print, but it's not whitespace. We've
> kept the word alive, even if the meaning's drifted (see also "tab").
> And if we didn't say "whitespace", how would we distinguish between
> "space characters" meaning "     " and "whitespace characters"
> meaning " \t\r\n\v"? (OK, has anyone met a "\v" in the wild?)
> 

I've found a not-always-white space: U+1680 OGHAM SPACE MARK -- the 
glyph is non-blank in "stemmed" fonts. I'm surprised that one of the 
billions of people who use Ogham for day-to-day correspondence hasn't 
pointed this out to me already :-)


Cheers,
John



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