Re: Rare Writing Directions

From: jenkins (
Date: Mon May 26 1997 - 19:41:55 EDT

On 5/26/97 7:37 AM Unicode Discussion ( wrote:

>As Unicode will adopt the Runes alphabet (or rather: fuşark), it
>would propbably be useful to have boustrophedon-markers akin to the
>existing LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARK and its siblings, U+200E .. U+200F and
>U+202A .. U+202E. These markers could be used to mark plain, logically
>formatted, Unicode text. (To mark physically formatted text, you could
>probably use the OVERRIDE characters, U+202D and U+202E.)

There is a difference, however, in that the current bi-di algorithm is intended to handle living languages and the productive generation of new text. There are no scripts I can think of that are written boustrophedon. Here, the overhead of forcing Unicode implementations to handle it outweighs IMHO the minimal benefit the limited scholarly community interested in these scripts would gain. (Not to mention the fact that you're rarely going to have embedded alterations of direction, as you do now, and which is the main impetus for the bi-di algorithm.)

John H. Jenkins

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