FW: Inappropriate Proposals FAQ

From: Suzanne M. Topping (stopping@bizwonk.com)
Date: Wed Jul 03 2002 - 12:59:08 EDT

I realized that I should probably turn an off-list discussion back to
the list, as it's illustrating an area of difficulty. (See the bottom of
this note for a partial discussion of what writing systems could/would
be considered.)

In the "appropriate use" FAQ entry, how the heck can we state what is
and isn't a suitable writing system for inclusion? Fictional scripts in
some cases would be considered, in other cases would not. Historical
scripts would in some cases be considered, in other cases not. Can
people from the review committee give me some hard and fast rules for
when something is thrown out?

Is there some way of listing or detailing the criteria in a way which
potential readers could determine where theire script or character
stands? It could perhaps be presented in a table or matrix form, so that
people could look through the criteria and say "yep, it's fictional, yep
people currently use it, no, there are no fonts yet" etc. Or maybe a
decision tree would be better, where the criteria forks.

I guess the first thing I need to collect is the criteria... Here are
some starters to get the ball rolling:

--Is this an entire script or additions to an existing script?

--Is the script fictional?

--Is the script in use? (as determined how???)

--Does the character(s) already exist in some other part of the

--Is there a compelling reason for including a characther which would
normally not be considered, due to legacy support issues?

--Is the character a precomposed ligature which can be encoded using a
sequence of existing character (possibly joined by ZWJ's)?

--Is the character a precomposed "accented character" which can be
composed using an
existing character and one or more existing combining diacritics?

--Is the character a clone of an existing character whose sole purpose
is making a *logical* differentiation from some existing characters
(e.g., hex digits looking
identical to existing characters "0..9" and "A...F"; or a symbol for
looking identical to Latin "m")?

--Is the chracter a clone of an existing character whose sole purpose is
making a
*graphical* differentiation from some existing characters (e.g., a
letter "t", disunified from Russian on the basis that italics looks
different in the two languages)?

--Is the character really a presentation glyph for a shape that can be
obtained using regular characters in conjunction with ZWJ or ZWNJ?

Again, additions, suggestions, or other help appreciated,


-----Original Message-----

At 15:35 -0400 2002-07-02, Suzanne M. Topping wrote:

>Apologies, I was sloppy with my phrasing; of course a script is
>"written". What I really meant was that the script is in current use in
>some sort of written form, as opposed to existing somewhere,
>historically, without being in current use.

Fiction is written within history. Jonathan Swift made up an alphabet
once I think in Gulliver's Travels. But it exists only in that book.
Tengwar is different.

> > It has to be used by people who want to interchange data safely
>> it. Tengwar meets this criterion. Klingon didn't.
>Is there some sort of metric associated with the concept of "people who
>want..."? Is there some sort of a threshhold of number of people?

Certainly not. The number of users of Old Permic, for instance, is
probably a few dozen or less -- specialists. That doesn't mean Old
Permic doesn't deserve encoding. Numbers aren't really in the


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