Interesting points open for discussion.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Valerio Anselmo [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Saturday, April 17, 1999 12:13 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Unicode Hangul and Internet
> To the Unicode section on Korean writing
> As you know, several character sets are actually used for
> representing Far-Eastern languages. While some of these character
> sets do not even list the Korean alphabet, Unicode seems to go in the
> opposite direction, because it reserves for the Korean syllables more
> than 11,000 positions, not considering that it is possible to obtain
> the Korean "graphical syllable" by means of software: see, for
> instance, the Microsoft Global IME (Input Method Editor) 5.0.
> I think that the space occupied by the useless Korean syllable groups
> in the Unicode set prevented Unicode from becoming a really universal
> character set, used all over the world. By the way, a part of those
> syllables are never used in writing Korean.
> The problem of the Korean syllable is similar to the problem of the
> right-to-left direction used for Arabic or for Hebrew, or to the up-
> to-bottom direction of the writing system of Inner Mongolia. For
> representing correctly the Hangul in the Web pages the solution
> probably has to pass through XML, but it is useless to have so many
> positions occupied in Unicode when the problem could be easily solved
> by software (and, moreover, every Korean could understand the Hangul
> even if not graphically grouped in syllables). Those 11,000 positions
> could be precious in order to reach a unified 16-bit character set
> good for all the languages of the world.
> Without a unified and unique 16-bit character set, the exchange of
> data using the new technologies will not get momentum in the Far-East
> and will continue to go on at the usual pace. It is necessary to
> obtain a revision of all the Far-Eastern character sets now used for
> the exchange of data (especially for Internet) with the intent of
> reaching as soon as possible a unified 16-bit character set good for
> all the world, Far-East included.
> Owing to the fact that Unicode is universally known, I think this
> task could be usefully done by the Unicode Consortium.
> Valerio Anselmo, Milan (Italy)
> (former Professor of Korean Language at the Istituto Universitario
> Orientale in Naples, Italy)
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