Re: Devanagari

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Fri Jan 10 1997 - 10:34:42 EST

At 09:12 -0800 1997-01-09, Sandeep Sibal wrote:

>Are you saying that
>half-consonants that SOUND and LOOK different are better
>encoded as "full-consonant"+"half-consonant-modifier",
>rather than stand-alone characters?

Please give an example (or more than one) of this, in what you think to be
the Unicode way of expressing this and in what you think to be a better way.

>One of the "problems" with Devanagari is that it cannot be well
>encoded in 1-byte; while 2-bytes appears like overkill. Its script is
>somewhere between an alphabet script (like English), and a syllabary.

I would describe it as a strongly ligating alphabet with some syllabic

>You still havent responded on why ligatures are
>present for Latin and Arabic,

For Latin they are useful because they are extremely optional. For Arabic,
Glenn (or Ken?) responded that they got there because of insistance from
some National Bodies in ISO. (I don't know any of the specifics regarding
that either.)

>while Devanagari's half-consonants
>that look and sound different (let alone visually distinct
>ligatures) are not? Why this biased treatment??

Again, I am not sure what your examples are. If it's that K looks and
sounds different from KA, then it's not an encoding issue, it's a
presentation issue.

Myself I rather like the 10646 Brahmic coding conventions, and I have tried
to ensure that the principles of those coding conventions to other
Brahmic-derived scripts, such as Sinhalese, Burmese, and Khmer. My view is
that software will be simpler and cheaper for those (and for the dozens of
smaller and archaic Brahmic scripts for future encoding) if the 10646
Brahmic coding conventions are maintained.

Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire (Ireland)
Gutháin:  +353 1 478-2597, +353 1 283-9396
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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