Re: Addition of remaining two Maltese Characters to Unicode

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 14:21:15 EDT

Angelo Dalli wrote:

> OK - Is there any currently available solution that permits the unique
> Maltese characters 'gh' and 'ie' to be represented?

Our best recommendation:

        for letter "gh-bar" use U+0067 U+FEFF U+0127
        for letter "g" followed by letter "h-bar" use U+0067 U+0127
        for letter "ie" use U+0069 U+FEFF U+0065
        for letter "i" followed by letter "e" use U+0069 U+0065

and define appropriate collation rules. Plus the upper-case versions of these.

> 2. Use a Unicode sequence that is indistinguishable from a single character
> (i.e. does not break,

It will not break, since that is the effect of U+FEFF

> counts as one character,

It counts as one character if you count it so. Character counting, like
collating, has to be language-specific.

> produces correct capitalisation

As I understand it, a word beginning with "ie" capitalizes as "Ie", in
which case standard casing rules will work. If I am wrong and it capitalizes
as "IE", then you need a special capitalization rule, as with Dutch "ij".

> and permits 'i'+'e' to be distinguished from 'ie') to users.

Which 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.

The "additional work" will have to be done eventually, if not for Maltese
then for some other language. Better to bite the bullet now.
> 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.

Because there is no end to such requests: there is hardly one of the
thousands of languages written in the Latin script alone that does not
require some extra work for collation or capitalization or character counting.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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