Re: The comet circumflex system.

From: William Overington (
Date: Wed Oct 30 2002 - 02:20:18 EST

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    Well, the comet circumflex system has had one public review so far.

    Most of the review is about the way in which I design web pages. The reason
    that I use SIZE=5 lettering is that when I started producing web pages I
    found that SIZE=4 did not seem to come out right on a web page, some sort of
    aliasing problem with the font I suspect, so I used SIZE=5, which, like
    SIZE=7, seems to always look good typographically. Also, I took my basis
    for page design regarding type size from the display used for teletext on
    television screens. Certainly that is intended for viewing from a distance
    on a larger screen, yet I do dislike web pages where one needs to peer hard
    at the screen from close up in order to read the text. I have found that
    with SIZE=5 one can sit back and read slowly and deliberately without the
    display medium being a factor in the understanding of the text.

    Larger text than many web pages use is not a problem over using more paper
    in the way that printing a hard copy document all in 36 point type would be,
    as the electronic surface on which the larger type is displayed on a web
    page costs no more than if I had used a smaller total area for the document.

    In relation to the comet circumflex system itself, well, these are early
    days for implementing the comet circumflex system and much of the documents
    are necessarily in the precise all-but-pedantic detail necessary to specify
    precise encoding of comet circumflex sentences using Unicode characters.

    I suspect that the expressive power of the comet circumflex system will
    increase significantly as the number of encoded sentences increases, maybe
    with even some sort of exponential effect. However, rather than start by
    devising and publishing lots of sentences I decided to start with just a few
    sentences, about the number necessary in order to demonstrate that the comet
    circumflex system can work in practice. In the classic British manner of
    "if in doubt, talk about the weather" the sentences are about the weather.

    I am hoping that the comet circumflex system will find its niche in
    internationalization. For example, is the internationalized poetry of the
    comet circumflex system a first in the field of internationalization and
    localization? Is such poetry an artform in its own right? I have had great
    enjoyment in trying to write poems using the comet circumflex system, trying
    to express meaning within the tight constraints of the available language.
    I am fascinated to think that it someone translates the sentences into their
    own language that someone else who speaks that language yet does not know
    any English might be able to enjoy a poem written by me in the comet
    circumflex language.

    An interesting matter is that, now that the Unicode conference has been
    renamed the Internationalization and Unicode conference, whether discussions
    of internationalization are now automatically on-topic for this mailing

    An unfortunate aspect of the review is that it does not state any specific
    reasons for the comment made about the comet circumflex system itself. I
    have found that when people have expressed reasons for their comments that
    that is usually extremely helpful and guides me to thinking through the
    reasons given. So, I do wonder if perhaps the specific reasons for the
    comments could please be stated so that both I and other readers may
    consider the comments in the context of the reasons, so that a critical
    assessment of the reasoning for the comments could be made. I am not a
    linguist, so the precise high quality comments of a linguist could be
    invaluable in thinking out the route of progress for the comet circumflex

    I have recently been trying to devise a simulation of a web-based shop which
    uses the comet circumflex system. It will need some more comet circumflex
    sentences to be devised. Thus far I have produced a gif file 64 pixels wide
    by 32 pixels high showing a comet circumflex, without a keycap, followed by
    an envelope, so that that can have the meaning of "We are willing to accept
    emails in comet circumflex code, please click here to send one." It is a
    cyan comet and a cyan envelope on a blue background, with a green circumflex
    accent over the comet. The web page itself displays in the font Songs about
    Landscape which is available for free download from the following web page.

    The reason for using that font is that the page will look as being in an
    unknown language in an unknown script to all users of the simulation. The
    text is just saying it is a simulation if read in English, so the Songs
    about Landscape font needs to be installed locally in order to get the
    proper effect of the simulation.

    The simulated web-based shop has as its product (which, in fact, is given
    away in the simulation) gif files representing pieces for a board game, so
    hopefully the simulation will have a practical use in being a source of
    those gif files. Each gif file has a part number. It is quite fascinating
    to get immersed in the simulation. Hopefully it can go live on the web when
    I can get it finished, then I can respond in comet circumflex language to
    any emails in comet circumflex language which arrive from within the
    simulation. The use of the Songs about Landscape font is remarkably
    effective in producing a web site for the purpose of the simulation, as
    headings and paragraphs can be set out.

    William Overington

    30 October 2002

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