Re: Eyelash Ra/Variant Mark?

From: Jeroen Hellingman (
Date: Thu May 28 1998 - 02:46:57 EDT


> I do not wish to argue here regd. correctness of current Unicode standard
> with respect to Indian languages.

I've collected a long list of minor isues with reg. to Indian scripts
in Unicode, which is on my web-site (an I'll try to update this

> > The INV character of ISCII should not be confused with ZWJ in Unicode.
> > They have different semantics.
> The INV is used to simulate a joining and display of resultant glyph with an
> invisible consonant. ZWJ as described on page 6-71 of Unicode 2.0 is used
> to alter the behavior of rendering process as if it had been joined with
> either preceding or following character, or both. It also mentions
> the function of ZWJ for Indian languages, and the explanation is
> identical to that of INV in ISCII. Apart from difference in the
> language of explanation, I do not find any other difference. Please let
> me know if Iam making a mistake.

I'll study my copy of the ISCII standard and the Unicode standard, and
come back to it.

> With Unicode, the transliteration feature available via the rendition
> engine for ISCII, is not available automatically. Hence the question of
> Tamil RRA appearing as Marathi eyelash Ra does not arise while using
> Unicode with different code spaces for the two scripts. In ISCII, the
> transliteration mapping between dravidian scripts and northern scripts is
> not claimed to be 100% accurate, but for most practical purposes where
> information consists of proper nouns (names and addresses in databases)
> the transliteration feature provides a software independent mechanism to
> display or print things like reservation charts etc. with reasonable success.
> It also helps in avoiding duplication of databases in each language for
> large multilingual IT applications.
Some duplication in Indian databases will be unavoidable, as there
is no way to predict how people will transliterate their names in
English, and the same is true for street and place names, but between
Indian languages the problem is far less, and character table-look
up can be used in Unicode. Given current developments in font
technology (OpenType, etc) it will be possible to add tables to
for example a Devanagari font to also render other
Indic characters in Unicode as
easy as characters from the devanagari block itself, which means,
with such fonts, it can be just as easy. However, I know of no
applications that can do this at this time.


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