Re: Back to Hebrew -holem-waw vs waw-holem

From: Ted Hopp (
Date: Wed Jul 30 2003 - 12:43:10 EDT

  • Next message: Kent Karlsson: "RE: From [b-hebrew] Variant forms of vav with holem"

    On Wednesday, July 30, 2003 11:57 AM, wrote:
    > I agree 100% with your description of the characters that have not been
    > encoded in Unicode. There are certainly marks and consonants that mean two
    > completely different things, as you have so accurately described. But
    > are two approaches to encoding. There is "Code what you see" and "Code
    > is meant". In your analysis and in the way SIL encoded the original SIL
    > Ezra font, we went with "Code what is meant". This means that we have two
    > shevas (one pronounced and one silent), a holemwaw character and a shureq
    > character. Unicode, on the other hand, is totally "Code what you see". It
    > is attempting to make no analysis of the marks on the page. If there is a
    > mark, code it. If it is identical to another mark, then it gets the same
    > codepoint. (Of course, there are exceptions, but this is the general

    One of the key points some of us are trying to make is that vav with kholam
    khaser is a different mark on the page than a kholam male. Different
    semantics AND different appearance, but no separate Unicode encoding. What
    more do we need?

    Besides, what's all this that I keep reading about Unicode encodes
    characters, not glyphs? From Chapter 1: "[T]he standard defines how
    characters are interpreted, not how glyphs are rendered." The "code what you
    see" approach, while probably the reality of Unicode, seems somewhat
    contrary to this statement of principle.

    > So with Unicode, there is no way to separate even vowels and consonants,
    > since a waw in a shureq, a holem-waw, and just a plain waw will always be
    > encoded the same. Some of us are trying to make this approach usable by
    > allowing at least a holem-waw to be distinguished from waw holem, by
    > placing the holem first.
    > For the encoders, it is fairly straight-forward. For the people trying to
    > actually use the encoding, it's going to take a lot of context to
    > what you've got.

    Yes, indeed. Nothing like an encoding that can't be decoded. :)


    Ted Hopp, Ph.D.
    ZigZag, Inc.

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