Ed Hart wrote:
>From the perspective of a user of Unicode products,
conformance to Unicode is very important. However, the degree
to which a product implements the required Unicode functions
and supports various scripts is an important topic not
addressed by the Unicode conformance chapter.
>Yes, qualification by script is a better way to start
analyzing Unicode "support"...
[a lot of useful parameters applying to Arabic snipped]
In some ways, this is a step in the right direction. Things can
be more rather more complicated, though, depending upon what
one is needing to do. For example, MS Office 2000 running on
Windows 2000 promises to provide a very good level of support
for a number of scripts, provided you are using those scripts
for representing a limited selection of languages. If your
language happens not to be in that list, you may experience a
lot of frustration trying to use one of these apps.
As Joe Becker correctly observed, metrics for support of any
given script is not well defined, unlike Unicode conformance.
To take the case of Arabic, for example, it's one thing to say,
"Our app supports the Unicode Arabic range", but it's a little
more to say that it does so for Classical Arabic, for Morrocan
Arabic, for Mandinka (about 1,000,000 speakers in Gambia,
Senegal, Guinea Bissau), for Hausa (Ajami style Arabic script),
for Kanuri (>3,000,000 speakers in Nigeria, Ajami style), for
Mwani (~100,000 in Mozambique), for Farsi, for Kurdish, for
Azerbaijani, for Baluchi, for Kurmanji, for Turkmen, for Uzbek,
for Kazakh, for Kirghiz, for Uyghur, for Urdu, for Sindhi, for
Hindko, for Pashto, for Kashmiri, for Panjabi, for Balti, for
Purik, or for Tausug, to mention just some that are written
using Arabic script. Each of these might have different needs
in terms of input methods, details of rendering (different
ligatures used, different character inventories, different font
styles, etc.), and certainly would have *very* differing needs
in relation to things like spell- and grammar-checking, and
also sorting (as Ed mentioned).
The same issues are repeated for many other scripts, e.g.
Cyrillic and Devanagari. Even to say that an app supports Latin
script leaves a lot unknown: e.g. does it support diacritic
positioning including stacking of diacritics, as needed by
various languages and especially for IPA?
There's a lot that we might want to know about all of these
apps. The biggest question, though, is whether any one of us is
willing to start compiling all of this info?
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:53 EDT