Re: Addition of remaining two Maltese Characters to Unicode

From: Angelo Dalli (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 14:13:54 EDT

> Meaning what? Meaning "if we have a digraph <ie> character added to
> Unicode"? My point was that this request is as valid as *lots* of others.
> The UTC does not want to open the doors for a flood of requests for
> digraphs and precomposed characters, and rightly so: it would be a mess in
> many respects. You're more likely to get a ZWGJ character, and that would
> be adequate for the needs you mention. (Note: an input method can have a
> single "ie" key that outputs <i><ZWGJ><e> as easily as outputting a single
> <ie> character.)

OK - Is there any currently available solution that permits the unique
Maltese characters 'gh' and 'ie' to be represented? I am not interested in
using features that are not yet standard - in that case, I prefer to have
the two characters added rather than wait for other features to be added to

My current workaround is to use SGML entities that represent 'gh' and 'ie'.
Linguists using the lexicon need to be able to represent these two
characters - so the solution would be either to:

1. Have unique characters added to Unicode.


2. Use a Unicode sequence that is indistinguishable from a single character
(i.e. does not break, counts as one character, produces correct
capitalisation, and permits 'i'+'e' to be distinguished from 'ie') to users.
The internal representation does not really matter that much, though it
would introduce additional work for Maltese applications since all other
characters in use do have unique Unicode code points.

Naturally, solution 1 would be simpler - given the availability of space in
the Latin Extended area, I don't really see what the fuss is all about.
Historically, 'gh' and 'ie' have always been regarded as single characters -
if 'ie' was represented by some unique strange symbol, no one would ever
think about not including it together with the rest of the Maltese
characters already in Unicode.

I really appreciate the feedback on this issue - thanks,

Angelo Dalli

Department of CS & AI
University of Malta

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