On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 03:21:03PM -0700, Kenneth Whistler 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?
> That isn't what Peter was saying. You are confused here by your misinterpretation
> of what he was saying.
> The recommendation that Peter was making is that people devising orthographies
> for languages should stick to Unicode letters for the letters of their
> orthography. (If the script in question is Latin, as most new orthographies
> are, then there are *hundreds* of Latin letters to choose from in the standard.)
> What orthography developers should avoid is using characters like "7" "@" "!"
> "$", "'" and so on as letters of their orthography, since those are certain
> to cause all kinds of havoc with word-break and other processes for standard
> software -- or even lead to the kind of absurdities as people wanting illegal
> constructs like: 'jo'@Abr@c@d@br@.com, which locales can*not* fix.
OK, I now understand, and agree with your recommodation to avoid 7 and @ etc
in newly designed orthographies. I am not sure about established
> > With GNU libc you can declare your own set
> > of punctuation characters in the locale, and they can be any 10646
> > character.
> Peter was talking about the opposite case. But you should examine carefully
> what the implications are of your suggestion here. If I were to make the
> absurd choice of picking 18 Chinese characters to serve as my punctuation
> characters, and then went through the exercise of declaring my own
> locale with GNU libc, I would only be guaranteeing that my locale (and all
> my text data) would only function correctly in a microscopic environment
> that I defined (or could browbeat a few others to share).
> The reason for sticking to the Universal Character Set and for sticking
> to standardized properties for the characters in that set is to
> guarantee widespread interoperability and to guarantee that my text,
> in my language, works correctly in all off-the-shelf software -- not
> merely in my own hacked-up locale.
In Linux, for a specific locale, it is relatively easy to get the new locale
to work on all off-the-shelf software: you need to write the locale, and
submit it to the glibc people, but then - in about 6 months or so, it
would be available on all mainsteam new Linux distributions, off the
shelf. And all applicatuions would adhere to it, given Linux' advanced
> Serious orthography designers should not allow themselves to get
> stuck in such dead-end traps.
I am not fully sure of which characters they were talking about, but
I was thinking about just a few special additions to the common set of
punctuation characters, problably determined by an established
orthography, and for that purpose I think it would be Ok to add these
punctuation characters. Otherwise I agree that you should stick to an
established set of attributes, like what has been done in Linux
(which uses ISO TR 14652 tecnology for the character properties, as you
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