Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?

Date: Sat May 24 2003 - 12:35:39 EDT

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    Philippe Verdy wrote on 05/22/2003 04:00:22 PM:

    > Unicode (which accepts proposal from influent provided that they
    > donate time and money)

    The Unicode Consortium will accept proposals from *anyone*, though expects
    people to understand that if they want new characters they will have to
    take some responsibility for making it happen. That may be more or less
    what you meant, but just so there is no confusion, there is no requirement
    than donations be made to the Consortium, and paying for membership is not
    required in order to submit a proposal.

    > Generally, searchers and linguists prefer to work with librarians
    > and with their national standard organization, so they tend to use
    > the more bureaucratic way via ISO10646, unless they have already
    > existing large databases of pulications for which they ask a
    > standard to Unicode to facilitate compatible interchanges...

    I think that is an overgeneralization. There are a substantial number of
    linguists and philologists/paleographers that channel their requests
    through the Unicode Consortium, and not all of them do this because they
    have large databases.

    > The case of independant groups of users (for example Klingon
    > supporters, or searchers studying an archaic or minor language which
    > only interests a poor country without public support from national
    > librarians) is difficult here

    The facts do not exactly substantiate that: note, for instance, some
    characters approved in the last year or so such as the Devanagari glottal
    (for the Limbu language of Nepal), Cyrillic Ghe/ghe with descender (for
    Siberian Yupik), and various Arabic characters used for the Parkari
    language; and also the proposal submitted for Syloti Nagri script (which I
    expect will be approved at the next meeting). None of these proposals was
    done with the assistance of librarians or other such major national
    agencies, though I guess you'd say it was done with something akin to
    "public support" insofar as the proposals were submitted by SIL
    International. It is in the interest of assisting minor language
    communities that SIL is investing resources to work on such proposals and
    to maintain a membership in the Consortium (associate membership -- it
    would be a full membership except that, as a non-profit, the annual fee of
    $12,000 has thus far been beyond what we can manage).

    - Peter

    Peter Constable

    Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
    7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
    Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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