Re: Greek: Haralambous proposals

From: John Cowan (
Date: Thu Jun 06 2002 - 16:30:48 EDT

Nick Nicholas scripsit:

> What on earth the function of U+1FBA is (A with initial grave) is a
> mystery for the ages; I assume ELOT just got confused, giving
> pseudo-polytonic equivalents of capitals plus tonos. But of course,
> those characters will now never go away. Hopefully anyone designing a
> font to deal with 17th century Greek will realise that those
> characters shouldn't be used for all-caps accents --- and the current
> glyphs are certainly going to discourage anyone from making that
> mistake.

Wouldn't it be better to *use* those characters for just that purpose,
and change the glyphs? Glyphs aren't normative, after all.

> 1.7. Using pre-combined characters rather than combining diacritics
> is something I've been guilty of myself in designing a website using
> Unicode Greek; but pre-combined chars are deprecated for good reason,

They are far from deprecated. Normalization Form C generates them
even if not present, and that is the normalization convention that
the W3C is going to start requiring for XML 1.1. (No big secret here.)

> Believe me, you don't want to write
> a search engine to deal with pre-combined characters and still
> allowing diacritic-insensitive searches...

D-normalize the text when you put it in the index, is all.

> To contend
> that monotonic is a local phenomenon, and that the needs of 10,000
> classical scholars in the West outweigh those of 10,000,000 Greek and
> Cypriot nationals, is Canute-like.

This is one of those memes I bash whenever I find it.

Canute ordered the tide to stop rolling in not out of _ofermod_, but
as a moral object lesson to his courtiers that he was a man, not a god,
and didn't need to be flattered like one. Everyone in his time
understood this, but somehow the meme "Canute was a lunatic" has
caught on.

> 3.1. On the other hand, capital Lunate sigma is long overdue, and
> I've never understood why it was omitted: the papyrologists that use
> it use case as much as anyone.

Ooookay. Now someone has to actually fill out the form to make it so.
Feel free.

> I believe
> the correct solution for these is to encode these ersatz jods at the
> character level as letter + combining breve underneath (or tie),

Sounds good to me.

> Chiastaxo dhe to giegnissa, i dhedhato potemu,
> ma ena chieri aftumeno ecratu, chisvissemu. (I Thisia tu Avraam)

Hey, new .sig. Cool! (The rest of us can check out for an explanation.)

John Cowan <>
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_

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