Re: Canonical equivalence in rendering: mandatory or recommended?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 12:20:43 CST

At 12:26 AM 10/16/2003, Doug Ewell wrote:

>Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya dot org> wrote:
> > Does everyone agree that "This is not a performance issue"?
>You can never tell whether something is going to be a "performance
>issue" -- not just "measurably slower," but actually affecting
>usability -- until you do some profiling. Guessing does no good.

And does everyone agree on that definition of 'performance issue'? I've
spoken with text processing engineers who certainly consider 'measurably
slower' to be a 'performance issue', especially if that decreased speed is
noticeable to users who do not benefit from changes to existing software.
For example -- knowing that it is on Peter's mind -- if an existing Hebrew
text engine is modified to be able to correctly render normalised Biblical
Hebrew -- e.g. by buffered re-ordering of characters from normalised order
to an order that can be processed by fonts -- is the measurably slower
performance an acceptable performance hit *if* your priority is modern
Hebrew text processing that does not require such re-ordering. While some
software developers have, happily, devoted considerable resources to
supporting minority languages and user communities, I can understand their
concern if supporting a minority use of a script has an impact on the
performance of that script for the majority users. Of course, I say this as
one of the minority users of the Hebrew script, who would really like to
see better support for Biblical Hebrew text processing, but I think it is
worthwhile trying to understand why there might be reluctance in some
quarters to pursue particular solutions.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

I sometimes think that good readers are as singular,
and as awesome, as great authors themselves.
                                       - JL Borges

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