RE: A basic question on encoding Latin characters

From: Murray Sargent (
Date: Tue Sep 28 1999 - 20:13:33 EDT

(The following may well have been mentioned earlier; I haven't followed the
whole thread). If you enter combining mark sequences using deadkeys, there
shouldn't be a problem. With deadkeys, nothing is displayed on the terminal
until the base character is typed and nothing is sent to the pattern-match
code. When the base character is typed, the corresponding fully composed or
partially composed character sequence is sent to the terminal and to the
pattern-match code. Deadkey input methods are usually part of the
underlying OS, but apps can also implement them fairly easily.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Brady []
> Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 1999 4:47 PM
> To: Unicode List
> Subject: RE: A basic question on encoding Latin characters
> On Tue, 28 Sep 1999, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
> > Pattern matching such as that described above for Expect is another
> > disguised instance of ASCII-think in computers: it depends on the
> > assumption character=glyph (or more correctly, character=grapheme in
> > this case), since it is expecting one user "keypress" for their
> > "character"--i.e. grapheme--to correspond to one character position
> > in a matching string table. This is amenable to the Latin-1, Latin-2,
> > type hacks to deal with Swedish, German, French, etc., but gets
> > progressively more broken as the model is extended to other writing
> > systems. So the keypress-based app with precomposed letters works for
> > "a-ring-above" without disturbing a match against "a". What if my
> > language is Klikitat or something, and I have letters spelled
> > "t modifier-letter-theta combining-comma-above" that have to be
> > kept distinct from "t" and "t modifier-letter-theta"?? Is that an
> > argument to keep encoding hundreds more digraphs, trigraphs,
> letter-accent,
> > letter-double-accent, digraph-accent, combinations, etc., so that the
> > broken keypress-based apps can work for (several thousand) Latin-based
> languages
> > without change? I don't think so.
> Yes, there is no adequate solution. This is rather a shame.
> --
> Robert

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