Re: REALLY *not* Tamil - changing scripts (long)

From: Keld Jørn Simonsen (
Date: Mon Jul 29 2002 - 18:52:25 EDT

On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 03:04:56PM -0700, Addison Phillips [wM] wrote:
> Keld wrote:
> > > It's *much* easier -- and, in the long term, safer -- for them to
> > > select from the extensive inventory of characters available in
> > Unicode and
> > > to avoid using ASCII punctuation characters with redefined word-building
> > > semantics.
> >
> > I don't get what you are saying here, why should people be limited to
> > ASCII punctuation characters? With GNU libc you can declare your own set
> > of punctuation characters in the locale, and they can be any 10646
> > character. Or are you referring to the specific locale syntax from
> > POSIX/TR 14652?
> >
> I think what Peter is saying is that, although you CAN create an orthography
> that uses any combination of stuff, it is a bad idea to ignore the Unicode
> character properties and use whatever comes to hand (like punctuation
> symbols).


> Yes, you can program a single C program (or Java program, or what-have-you)
> to know how to process your text. But you still face the enormous amount of
> software that *doesn't* understand. In the ideal world, you can use your
> orthography in Microsoft Word (or StarOffice if you prefer) and not have the
> grammer checker destroy your text automagically. Building an orthography
> that recognizes this make more sense than having to write "TengvaWord" and
> "TengvaExcel" and "TengvaMail" and so on.

this is not how Linux technology works. The localization is done in the locale data,
and then all programs (or most of them, which uses normal C/C++ i18n
features) will adhere.

> Programs that run on platforms that have user-defined locales can get some
> of this from providing a locale to use (and switching to it), but there is
> always the risk that a programmer has taken a "shortcut" somewhere and is
> looking for @ or ! or whatever (for example, if I type an @ in certain
> programs surrounded by ASCII text, the program will convert it to a mailto:
> hyperlink--yuck!).

I dont think using @ in a new orthography is a good idea.

> In short, the question isn't whether something is or isn't possible, but
> rather whether something is or isn't a good idea or desirable. If you've had
> an orthography since 1937 based on locally available typewriters, then you
> probably won't want to change. If you have NO writing tradition, you're
> better off avoiding unnecessary headaches, IMO.



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