Re: Tamil Text Messaging in Mobile Phones

From: Martin Kochanski (
Date: Fri Jul 26 2002 - 04:42:00 EDT

At 22:29 25/07/02 -0700, James Kass wrote:
>> Your proposed characters must first achieve popular usage before they
>> will be encoded.
>Isn't this kind of a Catch-22 for anyone contemplating script reform?

Isn't this sort if thing *exactly* what the private use area is for? There aren't that many mobile phone manufacturers, and they should be able to agree what SMP PUA codes to use: mobile phones are pretty closed systems. Or am I missing something here?

>Do we discourage people from altering their own scripts? Should we?

Yes, you do; and yes, you should - if by "altering scripts" you mean altering the meanings of existing code points, or even the way that they are to be rendered. There is, of course, nothing at all to stop new code points being added or even a mass migration from one script [set of code points] to another, like Turkish in the 1920s.

>It is suggested that scripts can be "alive" in the same sense that
>languages are "alive"; changes (which are part of life) just occur
>much more slowly in scripts.

Again, it depends what you mean by a script.

As a software publisher, I would argue that the rendering and behaviour of a given Unicode code point should *never* change: literally never, even if the script is long dead, no-one can read it, and the glyph has acquired an offensive meaning, like the once innocent swastika. I want people to be still using our software in 20 years' time without the need for constant updates.

[Should I have said "as a quixotic software publisher"?]

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