Re: Tamil glyphs

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Sep 11 2000 - 23:51:30 EDT

At 06:46 AM 9/7/2000 -0800, Antoine Leca wrote:

>When we were developping ISO 15924, Michael E. insisted on having a
>different code for Gaelic Latin as opposed to normal Latin.
>In TrueType Open / OpenType, there are different codes for Traditionnal
>vs. "Reformed" Malayalam. All of these appear to me as mechanisms to
>deal with that sort of problems.

>Perhaps we should consider adding new codes for both forms of Tamil
>and of Devanagari --this leads to a on-going discussion in the
>ad hoc "UniGlyph" list-- (and perhaps also Bengali, as I understand
>things); butsuich codes should be added in the relevant standards,
>i.e. ISO 15924 or OpenType.

Interesting idea, although I would be hesitant to adopt it. I believe the
distinction of Traditional and Reformed Malayalam is based official
orthographies in Kerala, and this is also true of the Gaelic script variant
in Ireland. Also, in the cases of Malayalam and the Gaelic form of the
Latin script, OpenType, as one Unicode implementation, makes a distinction
at the LangSys level. Distinguishing between different forms of Devanagari,
Tamil or Bengali would suggest a difference at the script level. This
probably wouldn't get support from the OpenType partners unless it were
formalised in Unicode, since the OT script tags are based on Unicode blocks.

I realise that a single industry technology will not, and should not,
dictate the contents of international standards, but it can be a useful
measure of what kind of tags might be useful, and henced used. Certainly,
we need be clear about what is being tagged -- script variants,
orthographic variants or language specific practices --, so as to avoid the
kind of inconsistencies that exist in ISO 639.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks A man was meant to be doubtful about
Vancouver, BC himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. G.K. Chesterton

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