Re: Furigana

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Aug 13 2002 - 19:45:22 EDT

Michael Everson (in training as a curmudgeon) harrumpfed ;-)

> >The Japanese national body was very clear about this, and was opposed
> >to these going into the standard unless such clarifications were made,
> >to ensure that these were not intended for plain text interchange
> >of furigana (or other similar annotations).
> Well then they oughtn't to have been encoded.

Yes, we agree that hindsight is a wonderful skill. This function
would better be served by noncharacter code points, but nobody
had quite figured out how to articulate that yet.

But even at the time, as the record of the deliberations would
show, if we had a more perfect record, the proponents were clear
that the "interlinear annotation characters" were to solve an
internal anchor point representation problem. Nobody (well, maybe
somebody) expected them to serve as a substitute for a general
markup mechanism for indication of annotation, and in particular,
interlinear annotations. I recall at the time I pointed out that
as a linguist I had routinely made use of 4-line interlinear
annotation formats, and that this simple anchoring scheme couldn't
even begin to represent such complexities in a usable fashion.


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