Re: Amerindian Characters

From: Paul Keinanen (
Date: Thu Jun 17 1999 - 05:58:41 EDT


Sorry, the message below was intended for the Unicode list, not to you only.

At 12:08 16.6.1999 -0700, wrote:

>There really is no reason why pre-composed combination characters are needed,
>and pretty good reasons need to be provided before the Unicode and ISO
>committees will seriously consider adding new pre-composed characters. People
>will sometimes appeal to the fact that other pre-composed combination
>have already been added to the standard. In most such cases, however, very
>strong reasons were given: that the pre-composed character already existed
in an
>existing international encoding standard (e.g. ISO 8859-1). In order to provide
>round-trip convertibility, what was before must live on. Had it not been for
>pre-existing standards, all of these characters may not need to have been

I thought that Unicode was supposed to be a character encoding, not a glyph

I am a bit worried about the approach by many posters in this thread that
every time a _glyph_ contains a latin character with some extras, it should
be encoded as a basic latin _character_ (A-Z) and combining marks.

Taking for example Finnish (and Swedish) characters (Å,) Ä and Ö (which
_glyphs_ resemble the latin characters A and O), but these characters are at
the end of the alphabet after Z. Neither is there have a close relationship
between A and Ä as in German (e.g. das Amt, die Ämter). In Finnish the word
with the base character and the character with diaeresis have a completely
different meaning eg. saari (island) and sääri (leg). Fortunately both
Swedish and Finnish have been used in computing since the 7 bit character
days and these characters have been assigned separate code points. If this
had not been the case, I guess Unicode would have assigned these characters
base_latin_character+combining_mark combinations.

I do not know Navajo language and I would be _positively_ surprised if all
those people defending the Unicode base character + combining marks approach
would be that fluent in Navajo language to tell the difference between a
separate character and an add on to the glyph.

Paul Keinänen

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