Batting the Eyelash-RA (fwd)

From: James E. Agenbroad (
Date: Tue Dec 22 1998 - 09:57:10 EST

                                         Tuesday, December 22, 1998
Are those who should do so considering this recommendation?
All the best for 1999!

          Jim Agenbroad ( )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 05:40:56 -0800 (PST)
From: Michael Everson <>
To: Multiple Recipients of Unicore <>
Subject: Batting the Eyelash-RA

On early October, Ken asked:

>Would someone more competent in Devanagari than I please
>take up this issue raised by Jim Agenbroad and provide explanatory text
>to the editorial committee for the book regarding how this issue is
>to be dealt with. This has been a recurrent, nagging problem for the last
>two years, and it is time for someone to deal with it.

James Agenbroad forwarded a large number of e-mails to me on this subject.
Without burdening this list with copies of that marterial here, I present
below my recommendation for the resolution of the problem:

*** Use RRA (U+0931) to encode Eyelash-RA, as ISCII does. ***

The example in Unicode 2.0, which states that RA + VIRAMA + ZWJ yields
Eyelash-RA is not correct. Evidence shows that the words AACAARYAACAA 'one
belonging to the teacher' and AACAAR'YAACAA must be distinguished
orthographically and therefore ZWJ cannot be used to make the distinction
because in plain text (since it is ignored in sorting and matching
operations). See the attached gif for samples of these two words.

The related issue of how to represent half-forms and variant half-forms
with ZWJ remains open. See the attached gif for a sample of two common
half-forms of SHA (U+0392). All I can think of is to use some generic
control characters (01-16) after the ZWJ to force one or more variant
shapes based on a glyph catalogue.

The Otani Tibetan WorldScript software for the Mac does something like this
-- there is one variant mark and the form of a SHAD for instance depends on
the number of times you type the variant mark key ofter it. But the line
between inputting and encoding is a little fuzzy here.

Anyway I hope this closes the door on the Eyelash-RA issue.


Michael Everson, Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478-2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478-2597 (by arrangement)
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