Re: Version 2.0 and Devanag

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Mon Mar 25 1996 - 16:22:19 EST

Subject: RE>>Version 2.0 and Devanagari Time: 12:56 Date:

This is just a tempest in a teapot.

1. We knew about the revisions to ISCII at the time Unicode was being
developed, but had no assurance that it would be the last such standard that
would move code values around.

Unicode will certainly not change positions of characters just to match
particular changes in the positions of characters in national or international
standards. There is no end to that, and no purpose to it either. The
characters are important, not their allocation.

For the case of Indic in particular, it is simple to provide a table to map
from one to the other. Remember that you have to do this for all of the 8859
series except for Latin1, for example!

2. ISCII provides for an extremely odd use of nuktas to extend the character
set, forced by working within an 8-bit standard. There is no reason to
duplicate this in a 16-bit standard. The same goes for the doubled VIRAMA and
the LINK character, whose functions are already provided for in Unicode, and
can easily be mapped to.

3. Codes (such as the Vedic ones) that are missing from Unicode/10646 should
be added through the normal process of additions.


Date: 96/03/25 12:40
To: Mark Davis
From: Michael Everson
At 10:22 1996-03-25, Michel Suignard wrote:
>Michael, I don't think your message reflects exactly the situation. In
>the WG2 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, a representative from India came
>with the new ISCII standard. He was not asking to move anything. He was
>asking for a new row to put the latest ISCII layout. The ISCII standard
>(my copy is dated December 1991 with a January 1993 reprint) aims at
>encoding "a common alphabet for all the Indian scripts [] made possible
>by their common origin from the same ancient Brahmi script." (extract
>from the standard).

Ah. I was not in Antalya, unfortunately. I do have SC2/WG2 paper N1030 (by
John Clews and N. Subramanian) which discusses this. It was on the actions
list apparently since Antalya but in the minutes of the Tokyo meeting it
states that Action Item 25-8 on the Indian NB to prepare a defect report
was dropped because no one took any action.

>So clearly this is very different from what is already coded in Unicode.

Yes, it is.

>If we see a bit more often our Indian collegues attending WG2 meetings
>(nobody from India has come to a WG2 meetig since then) and when (more?)
>commercial applications are developped for the Indian natives languages
>I would assume that the issue will have to be revisited. I wouldn't be
>surprised that at that some time we have to create a new row for
>'Brahmi'. And it may lead eventually to the deprecation of the other
>Indian script encoding.

N1030 proposes this, BEFORE publication of the next version of 10646. I do
not in principle have anything against this. Though if those other Indic
rows were deprecated I would want the code positions reused for other
standardization. and I would like to see something done about this soon by
somebody. This would be another Hangul-like pDAM. If it were to be done
(and it could be done with relative ease) it ought to be done quickly. Like
proposed at the _next_ WG2 meeting. Would Unicode file a defect report? It
would make the committees (WG2 and UTC) discuss the matter. Of course the
disposition of the defect report might be Do Nothing.

Nice to hear from you, Michael. C'hwi a ya da Gopenhagen?

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta
15 Port Chaeimhghein =CDochtarach; Baile =C1tha Cliath 2; =C9ire (Ireland)
Guth=E1in: +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
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Subject: RE: Version 2.0 and Devanagari
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