NT: Computer Specialists Object to Changes in Information Standards (fwd)

From: James E. Agenbroad (jage@loc.gov)
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 09:22:28 EST

                                            Friday, February 4, 2000
Of possible interest.

          Jim Agenbroad ( jage@LOC.gov )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 07:17:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Levon Avdoyan <lavd@loc.gov>
To: James E. Agenbroad <jage@loc.gov>
Subject: NT: Computer Specialists Object to Changes in Information Standards

+ Levon Avdoyan Phone: (202) 707-5680 +
+ Armenian and Georgian Area Specialist FAX: (202) 252-3180 +
+ Near East Section/AMED Email: Lavd@loc.gov +
+ The Library of Congress +
+ Washington, DC 20540-4820 +
+ +
+ The views expressed are my own and not necessarily those +
+ of the Library of Congress. +

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 23:50:59 PST
From: Asbed Bedrossian <asbed@usc.edu>
To: Armenian News Network <groong@usc.edu>
Subject: NT: Computer Specialists Object to Changes in Information Standards

Noyan Tapan News Agency


     YEREVAN, January 28 (Noyan Tapan). In late 1999, the
Department of the State Standard of the Republic of Armenia made
a decision on making changes in the informational exchange and
processing standards which were set in 1987 and have been in
effect both in Armenia and in the Diaspora until now. A meeting
with Director General of the "ArmComputer" humanitarian center
Vahram Mkhitarian held at the National Press Club January 27 was
dedicated to this problem.
     Mkhitarian pointed out that the changes are in introducing
the one-element Armenian letter "u" (the Armenian "u" has two
elements) in the system of Armenian fonts. He said that the
innovation may be linguistically justified, but is technically
unacceptable, as such a change will result in a confusion in the
existing computer programs and data transmission systems. As a
result, the Armenian systems will not any longer be
one-character nor will they be applicable.
     The initiative of the change belongs to the Institute of
Informatics and Automation, Armenian National Academy of
Sciences, which is forming the "Information Technology"
commission. "The things are portrayed as if the Armenian systems
and standards had never existed before and it were time Armenia
and the Diaspora made great efforts and, chiefly, allocated
great funds to resolve the problem," Mkhitarian said.
     Mkhitarian stressed that during the last thirteen years
Armenian specialists have developed ten standards which have not
even been discussed by the Department of State Standard. But it
is these standards that are used in newspaper and book
publishing, e-mail operation, web site and data base
development. Mkhitarian said that the current standards ensure
single informational exchange and processing regardless of the
language: ancient, middle, eastern or western Armenian. The
standards are also used in spelling: traditional, reformed of
the 1920s and modern.
     The new standard was a surprise not only to computer users,
but also to the authors of the previously developed standards.
In that connection, Mkhitarian said that the absence of
specialists concerned with the problem from the "Information
Technology" commission is inadmissible.
     Mkhitarian strongly believes that the standards proposed by
the commission cannot be accepted offhand, as they are not
provided with corresponding software, are inapplicable etc..
     NT: To be impartial in covering the subject, we will also
present the arguments of the proponents of the proposed changes.
*53/-2e --p c20 $e14 28/01/2000 <hr> <p>

(c) Copyright 2000, Noyan Tapan News Agency.
All Rights Reserved, All reproduction prohibited.

All inquiries to:
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E-mail: nt2@noyan-tapan.am
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[ Groong Note: The Department of State Standard's "innovation" would be
  completely unjustifiable, even on a linguistic basis. The "ou" sound
  in Armenian is a compound made of the two letters 'vo' and
  'hun'. There is no Armenian atomic letter "ou" (except when the
  Soviets said so).

  The introduction of an atomic letter "ou" would confuse and divide
  online Armenian orthography and render it utterly frustrating for
  anyone who needs to search through websites and databases in
  Armenian. It would presume upon the most casual searcher to: a) be
  aware of Armenian orthographic nuances and then b) to find out what
  orthography the particular website or database uses.

  In practice, this would discourage researchers in Armenian material
  online by either requiring of them unnecessary background knowledge,
  or by reducing their online productivity working in Armenian. In
  either case, in time this will discourage the growth of our language
  in the new technology.

  What's next, an atomic "yev"?

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