Re: An Aburdly Brief Introduction to Unicode (was Re: Perception ...)

Date: Tue Feb 27 2001 - 09:11:59 EST

On 02/26/2001 11:06:55 PM Kenneth Whistler wrote:

>> As I indicated above, I think that there is a non-vacuous notion that
>> merits a specific term for the purposes of discussion, and that that
>> is the one I have been assuming up to now.
>And that is (abstract character)1, as I clarified earlier.

I agree.

>But we need a separate term for (abstract[able] character)2, which
>is what Mark was trying to point to -- one of those "things" that
>you "recognize one when you see one" as an appropriate element of
>a writing system for encoding in the UCS and which exist prior to
>any determination of actual encodings of "that which has been encoded".

Again, I agree. As Mark has pointed out, the Standard uses "abstract
character" in the second sense on page 19. Up to now, however, it has
seemed to me that the first sense was elsewhere implied. On glancing
through section 2.1 of UTR17 again, I guess I have to say that the second
sense is also suggested there. The character model begins with an "abstract
character repertoire", then maps each "abstract character" to an integer to
form "encoded characters". Each encoded character is distinct from one
another; that can suggest to one that the abstract characters were likewise
distinct from one another. I guess that encoded characters are pairs, (
abstract_char_x, int_y ), and that one pair can be distinguished from
another simply by having the integers be different. It just never occured
to me that this was how I should think about it, though.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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