RE: Bangla: [ZWJ], [VIRAMA] and CV sequences

From: Unicode (public) (
Date: Thu Oct 09 2003 - 09:44:52 CST


>>... But backward compatibility is also good-- it
>>means the solution was good enough in the first place that people are
>>using it.
>Not sure about this one, in the Unicode context in general. I have been

>told of all sorts of things which cannot be done in the name of
>compatibility even when it is demonstrated that the original solution
>was completely broken and it seems that no one had ever used it -
>because it cannot be guaranteed that no one has tried to use it, and so

>there just might be some broken or kludged texts out there whose
>integrity has to be guaranteed. I'm not saying that is a bad policy,
>just that the existence of the policy is not grounds for
>self-congratulation that none of the old solutions are broken.

Yeah, you're right.

I presume you're talking here mostly about the combining classes of the
Hebrew vowel points. That was a case where even though the Hebrew
encoding was clearly broken (insofar as Biblical Hebrew was concerned,
anyway), fixes for the problem were constrained because there was a need
to maintain backward compatibility ACROSS THE WHOLE STANDARD for reasons
unrelated to Biblical Hebrew. So yeah, here the need to preserve
backward compatibility tells us Unicode in general was good enough for
people to use it, even though they couldn't use it for Biblical Hebrew.
So yeah, I overstated my case.

--Rich Gillam
  Language Analysis Systems

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