Because I have been out of the country (working hard on language codes,
etc., for ISO/TC37!) I have missed some of the current debate.
However, I gather, from a quick glance through a mail backlog of 100s of
messages awaiting my return, that Markus Kuhn of Cambridge University has a
new proposal to replace MES-1 with an alternative (now called VSECS) which
would exclude the dotted consonants which are an intrinsic part of the
national requirements of my country.
I hope that that is not actually what Markus means to propose, but, just in
case it might be, I am sending this quick msg, for the attention of Chris
Makemson, in strong opposition to any moves to exclude the dotted
consonants we need.
With best wishes,
Markus Kuhn wrote:
> Michael Everson wrote on 1998-08-15 11:18 UTC:
> > As the editor of a Commission-funded project to develop one or more subsets
> > of the UCS, I must protest again, that Markus Kuhn, who has been
> > participating in the CEN Workship WS-MES, has published the "SECS" and the
> > "VSECS" without the consensus of European and other experts actively
> > working in this area.
> > It may be the case that, with or without modifications, the subsets Markus
> > has described will be adopted by the Workshop.
> > Despite the fact that Markus has named these as "European", they do not,
> > however, reflect European consensus and may not meet European requirements.
> I apologize for using the term "European [TM]", which according to the
> tone of this posting apparently is a registered trademark of Michael
> Everson and the CEN Workship on Multilingual European Subsets, and which
> therefore must not be used under any circumstances in any context by
> private mere mortal inhabitants of the Continent of Europe [TM] without
> prior written permission by Michael Everson.
> I *never* ever implied in any of my postings about SECS/VSECS that they
> represent anything agreed upon by the CEN WS-MES, and therefore, your
> "protest" is, sorry, a bit childish. The SECS/VSECS proposal is
> completely my own (unfunded) volunteer work, the major input were
> existing published ISO standards and published literature on European
> character set requirements. I even used completely new names for my
> proposal to make clear that they are my personal projects and not
> CEN-MES work.
> I might have implied that I personally consider the drafts the CEN-MES
> workshop has produced so far is not yet very satisfactory (and I do not
> have the impression that I am completely alone with this opinion). Of
> course I will continue to represent my technical opinion in various
> mailing lists.
> I do propose to the CEN-MES workshop my SECS/VSECS proposals in the
> presented or modified form as a candidates for standardization. I
> equally offer them to any other interested organization, including
> Unicode Inc., JTC1, ECMA, IETF, etc., for further discussion and
> potential adoption. I believe that wide discussion of the various subset
> proposals on the usual mailing lists will make it more likely that the
> end results will not only have the formal consensus of some
> Commission-funded committee but will also meet real user requirements.
> Why do I want to have some independent discussions about European [TM]
> Unicode subsets going on outside CEN-MES?
> I do think that some influential CEN-MES linguistic experts occasionally
> represent a bit extreme or at least very academic requirements for
> extremely narrow linguistic applications without realising all the
> consequences for implementors and users. I also got the impression that
> the CEN-MES results were already a priory fixed politically to conform
> to certain standards that I think are of close-to-zero practical
> relevance (namely ISO 6937 and ENV 1973). This led to IMHO somewhat
> bizarre results such as that the current MES-1 draft does not contain
> the Euro sign, the directed quotation marks, and is not even a superset
> of ISO 8859-1, and that MES-2 contains many digraph characters that make
> fixed-width font implementations extremely ugly and cause encoding
> ambiguities. Therefore, I was not entirely convinced that I will like
> the final outcome of the CEN-MES (but I will be delighted if I shall be
> proved wrong here). The current CEN-MES requirements might be quite far
> from the requirements of most other computer users, and some independent
> competition I think is very healthy. Therefore I want to get some
> feedback from a broader user community than from just a few committee
> linguists (some of which have in my purely personal opinion repeatedly
> demonstrated a disturbing lack of experience in broader practical
> computing issues). Is that really inappropriate?
> Markus G. Kuhn, Security Group, Computer Lab, Cambridge University, UK
> email: mkuhn at acm.org, home page: <http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/>
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