Re: Keys. (derives from Re: Sequences of combining characters.)

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 07:23:56 EDT

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    Peter Constable wrote as follows.

    >On 09/26/2002 03:42:16 AM "William Overington" wrote:

    Well, it might have been 03:42:16 AM where you are, indeed it probably was,
    as Dallas is six hours behind England on the clock, but I would not want
    people to think that I write my posts in the middle of the night!

    >On the one hand, you say
    >>XML does not suit my specific need as far as I can tell.
    >But you also said
    >>Documents with the code sequence are intended to be sent over the internet
    >>as email, used as web pages and broadcast in multimedia broadcasts over a
    >>direct broadcast satellite system, so the codes which you suggest would be

    In that quote "the codes which you suggest " was your list of specific
    Unicode code points as follows.


    >Sorry to be blunt, but that's silly. If you need a special-purpose
    >"character" (a code-sequence, to be more precise) for use within your
    >specialised application, use one of FDD0..FDEF, FFFE, FFFF, 1FFFE, 1FFFF,
    >2FFFE... 10FFFE, 10FFFF. They are non-characters available for exactly
    >this use.

    end quote

    I maintain that they are unsuitable for use in documents which are to be
    sent from one end user to another.

    Yet the first part of my sentence which you have quoted could by going to
    the final comma and converting it to a full stop form a sentence on its own
    as follows.

    Documents with the code sequence are intended to be sent over the internet
    as email, used as web pages and broadcast in multimedia broadcasts over a
    direct broadcast satellite system.

    So, I will reason from that.

    You also quote me as stating the following sentence.

    XML does not suit my specific need as far as I can tell.

    I am happy with that.

    The two sentences are entirely consistent.

    Are you perhaps trying to make a deduction by the fallacy of the
    undistributed middle, along the following lines.

    William's need is a markup system.
    XML is a markup system.

    William's need is XML.

    It may well be that XML could be used to carry the comet circumflex code
    numbers which I am devising. I am not saying that it could not be so used.

    I am simply saying that XML, as I understand it, does not suit my specific

    For example, if I understand it correctly, XML uses U+003C in a document in
    such a manner that its use for the meaning LESS-THAN SIGN in the body of the
    text cannot be used directly. For me, that is a major limitation of XML.
    Now, I am not trying to make some big issue out of this by criticising XML
    as I am not trying to criticise XML, yet to my mind that is a very big
    legacy issue of which I do not want to have the problem with my research in
    language translation and distance education. Maybe one day Unicode will
    encode special XML opening and closing angle brackets so that XML can
    operate without that problem. However, as XML uses the U+003C character in
    that manner at the moment, for me it is a problem and it has led me to use
    the key method using a comet circumflex key.

    Also, I do not need to have all those " characters and = characters and /
    characters within messages.

    >One of the things that is especially useful about XML and related
    >technologies is the facility with which data can be repurposed. You have
    >one schema for marking up data, and stylesheets that transform it as needed
    >for different publishing / usage contexts.
    >Also, I don't see how it can be that a character sequence such as U+003C
    >U+0061 U+003E can't be useful to you when some ridiculous character
    >sequence like U+2604 U+0302 U+20E3 is.

    Well, U+2604 U+0302 U+20E3 is not ridiculous. It is entirely permissible
    within the Unicode specification. I have used combining characters
    productively, in accordance with the rules set out in the specification.
    Please see section 7.9. The button displays using an all-Unicode font. If
    you think it ridiculous then maybe that is good evidence of its originality
    as a piece of creativity. A comet circumflex key could be viewed as a piece
    of original art. I specifically designed it so as to be a design which
    involves an inventive leap so as to produce something new and unexpected,
    which someone "skilled in the art" would not produce as the application of
    skill in the existing art without invention, yet which would display
    properly using an all-Unicode font.

    The sequence U+003C U+0061 U+003E is unsuitable because it begins with a
    U+003C character and I do not want the use of U+003C to mean LESS-THAN SIGN
    to be unavailable in a simple direct manner. I want to be able to use the
    comet circumflex translation system in documents which contain mathematics
    and software listings as well as literary text. So, I have decided to use a
    straightforward system which allows me to do that without problems.

    An added bonus of using the comet circumflex key is that documents
    containing comet circumflex codes do not necessarily need to contain any
    characters from the Latin alphabet.

    William Overington

    27 September 2002

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