Encoding Scripts from the Past: Conceptual and Practical Problems and Solutions
||Manager, Software Engineer, Marketer, Standardizer
||Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
My paper "Scripts from the Past in Future Versions of Unicode(R)"
delivered on IUC 16 (slot B5) was received with interest so that a
subsequent tutorial appears to be useful in order to deal more
explicitly with the problems involved when historic scripts are to be
prepared for a standardized encoding. While my previous talk focussed
on the classification of the scripts according to both user interest and
encodability, my tutorial (4 hours) is to cover, in the first place, the
systematic differences between the encoding processes of current and
historic scripts respectively.
By introducing palaeography and a palaeographic database the fundamental
split becomes salient. Second, repertoires of historic writing symbols
necessitate a new look on the notion of script Unicode adheres to. I
intend to point out the main difficulties different script concepts
involve, depending on different levels of abstraction. In the view of
ISO and Unicode as well as the scholarly community, compromising between
scientific treatment, engineering and marketing, seems to be the most
viable method to follow in order to find practicable solutions.Third,
the Unicode compliant definitions of Character and Glyph must be checked
against the situation of historic script data. All this will be
illustrated by numerous examples from various writing traditions.
In a second part, the results of part 1 will be analysed with a view to
ranks of encodability. Designing a roadmap for the inclusion of historic
scripts in Unicode, however, cannot be done with regard to encodability
only, but has to take into account user interests as well, which are to
be reviewed at this point.
In conclusion, the tutorial will synthesize the two rankings in order to
elaborate a sound strategy of how to approach the encoding of the
historic scripts of the world.