plain*clothes wrote:

>  how did you arrive at the conclusion that
> the 1 should be flanked by unnecessary white space? as mentioned
> earlier,

Actually, I was first struck by the misreading of lowercase l and
figure 1, bad enough because they are very similar in some fonts, and
made much worse when the numeral is set as a proportional character.

I first noticed this problem back in the late 80s in galleys of text
set on our in-house Compugraphic typesetter. When I asked the tech rep
about changing the proportional width of the figure 1 to the fixed
figure width, (1) she was surprised that someone would want it that
way, and (2) she didn't know how to change the settings! (I gritted my
teeth and soldiered on for about a year until our Macs arrived and we
switched to DTP.)

The value of using a fixed-width numeral 1 is obvious in tabular
settings. In text settings, it's of equal value in a series of
hanging-indent, numbered lists (which, I suppose, are little more than
tabular lists of a specific kind). I believe fixed-width lining figures
are proper in text settings.

Now, perhaps font designers can put both a proportional 1 and a fixed 1
in the same font, to be used in different situations. I suspect it
would be tedious and inefficient to switch between fixed-width 1 and
proportional 1 in text, either when the text is keyed in or when it is
styled in layout (but probably no more onerous than mixing expert sets
or OSF fonts with regular fonts in the same text).

Michael Brady