Re: Unicode Devanagari Font in Mozilla

From: David Hopwood (
Date: Wed Jul 17 2002 - 00:10:41 EDT


"Michael (michka) Kaplan" wrote:
> From: "Michael Jansson" <>
> > Let's summarize what I have said:
> > 1 - My original posting on this thread clearly states that you need
> > to be careful when trying to use Uniscribe on Win9x, because it
> > is not officially supported there. There would be an official
> > "Update your Win9x with Uniscribe" service pack if it would be
> > possible. Maybe there will be someday, though I doubt it.
> There is, they call it "Internet Explorer". Cool, huh? Lucky its such a
> popular browser.
> And its very well supported on Win9x, and I do not see any note that the
> Uniscribe they place on the Win9x machine is unsupported?
> > 2 - I have exemplified why including download and installation
> > instructions for upgrading a Win9x machine with Uniscribe is a
> > bad idea. Am I wrong? Am I badmouthing anyone?
> Well, if they are willing to install a browser that will supply the
> components needed, magical things may happen.
> > Why are you constantly bringing up the fact that my company
> > offer a solution that deals with problems on Win9x? Yes, we
> > do. There are several other solutions from various sources that
> > do that. I don't consider anyone of them to be perfect (not even
> > our own), because you do not get reliable Unicode support on
> > Win9x with them. This is not badmouthing any of these solution
> > (including installing Uniscribe on Win9x). It's the way it is. I'm not
> > talking about any of these solutions.
> In some places, they call this reducto ad absurdum -- the claim that because
> everything is not supported means that nothing is.

No, "reductio ad absurdum" is a valid form of argument in which, if a
hypothetical statement "not X" leads to a contradiction, X is concluded to
be true. The above is not reductio ad absurdum.

I don't know what logical fallacy you were thinking of, but ISTM that Michael
Jansson came to his conclusion based simply on a mistaken assumption (that
Microsoft does not 'support' [*] Uniscribe on Win9x), not an invalid form of

OTOH, I have seen installing Internet Explorer mess up a WinNT system -
my own, unfortunately - to the point that it took me a full day to recover
it. Most users would have had to format and reinstall everything. I suspect
this was the Active Desktop stuff rather than anything to do with fonts.

[*] To the extent that any software with an "as-is" license agreement can
    be said to be 'supported'.

> I think Gödel said it best when talking about his work and he pointed out
> that just because a system could not be 100% complete and 100% consistent
> does not mean that it useless.

(Off-topic: inconsistent formal logical systems are certainly pretty useless;
by definition they are systems where anything can be proven. The same doesn't
apply to incomplete systems, though.)

> > Giving advice to people that they should go ahead and update
> > their Win9x machines with Uniscribe is plain unethical.

If I hadn't had the above mentioned experience with IE, I would say this was
just silly. However, installing IE is for all intents and purposes an OS
version upgrade; if you advise anyone to do it, be sure to say it is at
their own risk.

- --
David Hopwood <>

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