RE: Language Tagging And Unicode

From: Tiro Typeworks (
Date: Thu Jan 20 2000 - 14:42:55 EST

On Thu, 20 Jan 2000, Janko Stamenovic wrote:

> > From: Michael Everson []
> > Both derive directly from Old Slavonic letter tvrdo.

> By this definition Cyrillic and Latin A derive from Greek Alpha. And all
> three are "historically the same character". So what's the point?

The point is that Unicode encodes scripts as individual blocks. So the
Russian and Serbian characters which derive from the same historic source
and which have exactly the same function in the Russian and Serbian
alphabets, _and_ which are part of the same script, Cyrillic, should be

The Latin and Cyrillic A derive from the Greek Alpha, but they do not
belong to the same scripts system; hence, they are not unified.

No one has claimed that Unicode is perfectly consistent, or that mistakes
have not been made along the way. But the basic principles are sound and,
more the the point, they enable appropriate solutions for a wide range of
problems including, but not limited to, localised glyph preferences. The
appropriate solution to the Serbian localised glyph preference is a font
solution. This solution is enabled by the curent encoding of the Cyrillic
script in Unicode, so no additional characters need to be added for
Serbian. If new characters were added, you would still require another
level of solutions, in OSs and applications, to map Serbian texts encoded
in the old characters to the new system. So what will you have gained?
Only another problem requireing another higher level solution. Don't break
something that we've almost got working!

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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