Re: A basic question on encoding Latin characters

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon Sep 27 1999 - 13:58:49 EDT

Ar 10:05 -0700 1999-09-27, scríobh Scott Horne:

>How about
>"Because speakers of English, German, French, Dutch, and Italian occupy
>a superior position in the world, their languages will continue to enjoy
>thorough support on computers. As an economically unimportant nation,
>you are free to take up one of those languages when you find (as you
>inevitably will) that the computer industry doesn't give a tinker's damn
>about yours."

Come off it, Scott. There are short-term technological difficulties
(chiefly smart fonts) that prevent the end user from getting what he or she
really wants, namely some glyphs that look good and print well. In fact it
is _easier_ to support languages (for things like matching and searching)
if you don't have to _also_ normalize between a precomposed and a
decomposed form.

Meaning that there were _technical_ reasons for drawing a line at the
normalization border. The line was not drawn for political or socioeconomic
reasons as you state. There are plenty of minority precomposed letters in
the UCS now (I should know; I put a lot of them there). There are certainly
plenty missing.

Attentive readers will note that this is a principled U-turn on my part.
And I damn well expect industry to do something real and friendly for us in
the fonts development arena for it. How 'bout some announcements on this
list as to what is available?

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)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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