From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon Dec 07 1998 - 11:29:13 EST

From: Chris Makemson <cmakemson@COMPUSERVE.COM> (per Michael Everson)


CEN Project Team 11, in conjunction with the CEN/ISSS Workshop Alpha, is
developing a catalogue of the alphabets of the indigenous languages of
Europe. This work will result in a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) for which a
broad consensus of agreement is required amongst the participants of the
workshop before ratification can be achieved by a simple ballot. Michael
Everson, the WS-Alpha editor, has a draft now ready for review. The review
is required both from a technical point of view and for me, as WS-Alpha
chair, to ascertain the level of consensus agreement that has been achieved
for the work to date.

I would like to start a 2-month review of this document. The document
contains a large number of language alphabets and I do not expect people to
review the whole set. Rather, I ask you to review the alphabets for
languages for which you would consider yourself to be an expert. In this
way I hope that a large proportion of the material will be reviewed and at
the same time you will not find it to be an impossible task. In the final
document, it is intended to attach a status statement to each alphabet
description which will detail the level of review that has been possible.
"Health warnings" will be placed against those for which a review has not
been possible.

It is anticipated that the editor will be in a position to maintain this
catalogue, so that, in the future,after the CWA has been agreed, people
will still be able to submit review comments on alphabets in which they are

In submitting your comments you should indicate those alphabets which you
have reviewed. Comments are also requested. If you state that you have
reviewed an alphabet but you have not submitted comments on it, then it
must be assumed that you are happy with it. This will be reflected in
status statement for that alphabet in the CWA.

The repertoires are based on facts, namely, dictionaries, grammars, and
other materials. If you are not happy with the content of an alphabetic
repertoire, it is necessary that documentation of the requested changes be
sent to the editor. To ensure completeness, such documentation should
proof of the additional letter or letters and their relative order with
other letters, and the title page and copyright page of the source
material. To ensure clarity, the documentation should be sent in hardcopy
photocopies to the editor at 15 Port Chaeimhghein Iochtarach, Baile Atha
Cliath, Eire (Ireland), or made available to him by PDF file (or PostScript
if necessary). Fax is 200 dpi and so cannot be accepted. The editor's
e-mail address is

This call for review is sent to all presently-registered participants of
WS-Alpha. In addition, it is being sent to people known to be expert in
particular languages but who have not yet registered as a participant in
the workshop. If you are one of these, you are invited to register as a
participant in the WS-Alpha. This can be done by visiting the Web site All responses to this call for review should be
submitted to the WS-Alpha mail list at Only
registered participants may send comments on this e-mail list. Being a
participant in this workshop does not commit you to anything. However, you
are invited to comment on this draft and to vote when the document is sent
for final CWA ballot.

The current (second) draft of the CWA document may be found at You will note that the main document is
in HTML format. The body of the document contains two lists of alphabets.
Clicking on one of the list entries will cause a download of a small PDF
file containing just the alphabet requested. In this way you should not be
inundated with unwanted alphabets. In addition, the body of the document
contains -- importantly -- a set of criteria which should be treated as a
minimum set for the review of the document.

Finally, this review commences on 1998-12-02 and finishes at midday GMT on

As a result of this review, the editor will prepare a disposition of
comments report and update the draft. It is planned then to start a 1-month
CWA ballot.

Happy reviewing,
Chris Makemson
Chair, CEN/ISSS WS-Alpha

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