Peter_Constable at sil dot org> wrote:
>> Isn't this kind of a Catch-22 for anyone contemplating script reform?
> Of course. Part of the problem is what the status of the proposed
> script reform. Is it a single company or perhaps an individual
> suggesting that the country should change? Then the likelihood of
> success is (all other things being equal) low. Is it a government
> mandate? Then the likelihood of success is high. It may be anywhere in
> I'd suggest that the IT industry probably is not the appropriate forum
> within which to introduce writing system reforms. Probably, that
> should happen in government-related bodies, in schools and various
> other contexts before it reaches IT. If a government is backing it,
> then they can make proposals to relevant IT standards bodies, and
> those proposal could be weighed by the standards bodies by how
> committed the government in question is to the change. But there is
> too much risk involved if someone attempts to use technology or a
> technology product as the vehicle by which to introduce proposed
Just to follow up on that briefly, since Peter put it so well...
The Euro symbol is the ultimate example of a newly created character
that deserved immediate standardization in Unicode, because its popular
success was guaranteed. By that I do not mean "popularity," in the
sense that people love the symbol in their hearts. For all I know, they
may still be making fun of it and designing alternatives. But the
"success" of the symbol was a certainty, because the European Commission
had the authority to impose it.
In contrast, the proposed Tamil reform might be a wonderful idea, might
improve Tamil literacy, might result in many more implementations of
Tamil in computers. Or it might not do any of that, because it might
not be adopted. A quick check through the hundreds of proposals for
English spelling reform suggests that, no matter how much of an
improvement the proposed reform might bring, there is no guarantee such
a reform will succeed.
As Peter said, again very well, orthographic reform is not a bad thing,
such that Unicode or anyone else should be "discouraging" it, but it
must be taken up at a governmental or academic level to ensure a
sufficient measure of popular success to justify encoding it.
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