From: Ted Hopp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jul 25 2003 - 10:06:24 EDT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kent Karlsson" <email@example.com>
> I find the entire idea with CGJ (for any use) a kludge...
> A possible solution to the particular problem at hand that
> hasn't yet been mentioned (that I've noticed), is to use the
> already encoded vowel characters for the most part (also
> for biblical texts), but use new "biblical" vowels only for the
> occurrences where they occur as *second* vowel (with an
> implied invisible consonant): HEBREW SECOND VOWEL HIRIQ,
> etc. (Strikes me as rather elegant, though it requires the
> addition of new characters.)
This would make editing somewhat interesting. How would a consonant followed
by a solitary "second vowel" be handled? (Say, I enter yerushala(y)im and
then delete the patah.) As if the "second vowel" were a "first vowel", I
So let's assume these "second vowel" code points had the combining classes
that have been proposed for the "bibilical vowels". It seems to me, as a
software developer, that using the new code points exclusively will fix all
my problems with the current vowels. Why wouldn't I do that? Frankly, having
to mix new and old Hebrew vowel code points is quite scary to me. I see all
sorts of potential for problems, spanning the spectrum from legacy data to
quirky new behavior that has to be explained to our users.
It may not say so on anyone's proposal, but introducing new code points for
Hebrew vowels is tantamount to moving the Hebrew vowels to new code points.
After all, if given a choice of supporting a mix of two vowel systems or of
just ignoring (or silently converting from) the current vowels in favor of
new ones (whatever they're called) that do all that is needed, the choice
seems obvious. Switching to a new, corrected vowel system would save us
(and, I would think, all developers) time and coding; such a system, far
from affecting a small group of Biblical Hebrew specialists (as claimed by
the proposers), is likely to affect nearly all those who work with Unicode
Hebrew. Tell me if I'm wrong please, but isn't moving characters (however
it's disguised) as much of a violation of the stability policy as is
changing combining classes of the existing vowels?
And we're all absolutely sure that no one will ever have a legitimate reason
to put three Hebrew vowels on a consonant. Ever. Right?
The Hebrew vowels interact typographically and the combining classes should
have been assigned accordingly originally. That's what should be fixed now.
I recognize the powerful political issues involved, and that these are
barriers to this happening. But trying to find technical solutions to
political problems is extremely short-sighted. I would urge that all
technical efforts be directed away from solving the politicians' problems
and focus on how to minimize whatever damage may be caused by changing the
From my company's perspective, all other proposals I've seen would be more
damaging to us than doing the right thing. It would be beneficial to hear
from others on this list about what the specific technical (not political)
impacts would be (both positive and negative) on their work and their
products that would come from fixing the combining classes of the existing
Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
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