Re: Mixed up priorities

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Oct 22 1999 - 10:38:34 EDT

G. Adam Stanislav scripsit:

> John, I am talking about priorities here. I am not objecting against having
> fictional alphabets, but let's solve real issues first.

By all means. But let us solve them using the correct *point d'appui*.

> Besides, I can just see the discussion here a couple of years down the road
> when we realize we need to impose some artificial boundary as to which
> fictional alphabet to include without having to go to 64 bits.

We already have 20+ bits; I have no fear of ever exceeding those,
no matter how many bizarre fictional alphabets are included.

> Precisely. CH is a character in Slovak, no matter what any Anglocrat says.

No, it's a *letter*. As another poster explained, that's quite different.
There is no law saying that every letter in every alphabet must be
assigned a distinct Unicode codepoint. Where letters that are representable
otherwise *are* assigned codepoints of their own, it is for backward
compatibility with pre-Unicode character sets. No such evidence can be

(The exception is the Croatian multiglyph letters, which are retained
from a time when it seemed important to do 1:1 mappings between
Serbo-Croatian Latin and Cyrillic orthographies.)

> >Without Unicode, the pressure to migrate Slovak to 8859-1 compatibility
> >might eventually become irresistible.
> Nonsense. There is an 8859 standard good enough for Slovak. If there
> weren't, we'd create one. It is a glyph standard, but it does not pretend
> otherwise.

No, 8859-2 is a coded character standard, not a glyph standard. What you
seem to want is a Slovak-specific *letter* standard, assigning a distinct
integer to each letter of the Slovak alphabet. Fine. But don't go mixing
such a thing up with the UCS.

> We will not bastardize our language because some people think that
> internationalization equals anglification. We have gone through much more
> serious pressure from others in our history. All it managed to produce was
> strong nationalism.


> Alas, the whole concept of i18n is often made in an ivory tower. For
> example, there is no way to create a Slovak LCC locale which would cover
> the way we write dates. That is why we do not have an LCC locale for
> Slovak. I looked into creating one, and concluded LCC is not for us.

I don't know what LCC is, but I'm not surprised that a localization
standard isn't yet sufficient to cover all the world's languages.
However, that is not relevant to Unicode.

John Cowan                         
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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