You guys are not thinking things through. Firstly the fact that the
only document we have was made with stamps rather than drawn by hand
means nothing. Chinese can be written with a brush, a pen, a chisel,
or it can be impressed into wax with a seal.
You have to look at the structure of the script and think of legibility.
Firstly, most of the glyphs are strongly directional. Let us assume
that we have a string of text PLUMED-HEAD SHIELD CLUB PEDESTRIAN
BOOMERANG (that's as encoded in the backing store). The script shows
RTL directionality, and when reading it we read into the face of the
PLUMED-HEAD. SHIELD and CLUB are symmetrical, but PEDESTRIAN and
BOOMERANG are not.
The characters display as BOOMERANG PEDESTRIAN CLUB SHIELD
PLUMED-HEAD, where plumed-head faces right and the boomerang points
right as well. We read RTL.
Now let us say I wish to represent this text LTR, as I do. Well if I
reverse the presentation order without I get PLUMED-HEAD SHIELD CLUB
PEDESTRIAN BOOMERANG -- but if I don't reverse the glyphs, than
plumed-head is still facing to the right, as is the boomerang -- how
am I to know that the directionality is LTR? I can't. I will start
reading with the boomerang.
Let's pretend we knew the syllabic values of these characters.
PLUMED-HEAD is LA, SHIELD is BU, CLUB is GI, PEDESTRIAN is DA,
BOOMERANG is NO. The correct reading must be LABUGIDANO, but if you
reverse RTL directionality to LTR directionality without reversing
the glyphs, you won't know that the directionality is changed, and
you will be tempted to read NODAGIBULA. And what if that was a valid
sequence in your language?
That Godart did not make this correction in his book when he used LTR
directionality was an error. I'm sticking by the decision I made when
I made my fonts, because it is more likely to be right than not.
There aren't any other scripts in the area which change
directionality without reversing the glyphs, and Phaistos certainly
-- Michael Everson *** Everson Typography *** http://www.evertype.com
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