RE: Ewellic

From: Addison Phillips [wM] (
Date: Thu Nov 13 2003 - 13:50:27 EST

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    At the risk of prolonging a pointless thread:

    A cipher is a transfer encoding scheme. So are barcodes, semaphore flags,
    Morse code, and Base64. The point of each of these is to transfer some piece
    of plaintext. Unicode is, among other things, a character encoding scheme,
    not a transfer encoding scheme. Unicode characters can be encoded in a TES
    and not the other way around.

    Unicode might encode scripts intended solely as a transliteration. I think
    it unwise to make broad statements about what the UTC will or won't do until
    it does it, because human languages are such a complex topic. To the extent
    that such "rules" are interesting, I suppose they should be discussed, but
    much of this thread has dwelt in the area of whether or not there should be
    hard and fast rules for or against the UTC doing certain kinds of things in
    the abstract. This is pointless and solopsistic.

    Best Regards,


    Addison P. Phillips
    Director, Globalization Architecture
    webMethods | Delivering Global Business Visibility
    Chair, W3C Internationalization (I18N) Working Group
    Chair, W3C-I18N-WG, Web Services Task Force

    Internationalization is an architecture.
    It is not a feature.

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of Jim Allan
    > Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 8:32 AM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Ewellic
    > Ken Whistler posted:
    > > *Ciphers* are orthographies designed (ideally) to map one-to-one
    > > against graphemes of a writing system and (ideally) are designed
    > > to obscure those graphemes by using non-obvious forms to hide
    > > content from casual observers.
    > I don't think whether a system was "designed to obscure the graphemes"
    > is important (at least in respect to whether Unicode should encode a
    > script or not). Some discussing this seemed to think it was.
    > For example Morse code, semaphore flags, braille, and bar codes are
    > often implemented in fonts as one-to-one transliterations of the
    > corresponding Latin characters. But these systems were not at all
    > designed to obscure the graphemes to which they point, but to reveal
    > their semantics clearly in situations where normal representations of
    > the original graphemes were not as usable.
    > Perhaps rather than "cipher" one should say that Unicode does not encode
    > separately scripts or systems intended solely as transliterations of
    > other scripts. Ciphers are a common example of such scripts and systems.
    > Jim Allan

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