Target Audience: Software Engineer, Systems Analyst
Level of Session: Beginner
The paper is in purpose strictly informative and aims to make the reader aware of the broader needs of communities within Ethiopia. The applicability of the present Unicode standard for Ethiopic is addressed with respect to the needs of users at the office level and for electronic communications. Ethiopia and Eritrea together house nearly a hundred languages of which four were directly considered in the drafting of the current standard. A tour of the needs of the other languages is presented and an overview of ancient and liturgic practices is made. The paper presents a road map of the proposal work for Extended Ethiopic expected to come out of standards organizations in Ethiopia in the coming months and years. While the ISO/Unicode standard satisfies the requirements of Ethiopia's primary languages and more than 95% of the text being produced in Ethiopia, there remains communities actively publishing that can not yet apply the 16 bit standard and still rely on archaic proprietary systems.
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14 Jun 1999, Webmaster