Re: Cuneiform - Dynamic vs. Static

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 18:43:40 EST

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    There is a clearly a lot hidden (or not so hidden) behind this exchange, but I
    want to mention a few things.

    1. The Initiative is making a proposal to the Unicode consortium for encoding
    cuneiform. As a part of that process, the proposal should lay out the pros and
    cons for the different models for encoding, and especially describe the reasons
    for choosing the particular model that it recommends. If there is a significant
    disagreement among the members of the Initiative, I'd expect to see a "minority
    report" as a part of the proposal.

    The UTC is then responsible for making the final decisions. A proposal may go
    back and forth several times before all the issues are resolved. Now, the fact
    that we have respected UTC members as a part of that initiative makes this
    process much, much smoother, since they will have been able to provide
    information to the initiative as to the architectural trade-offs involved in
    different models. Still, other UTC members may have concerns that are first
    raised in the full committee meeting, and all members will need to have
    background information on the alternative models so that they can make informed

    2. The Unicode list is an informal, open list for discussion. Certainly anyone
    can bring up any Unicode-connected topic (within certain broad limits of taste)
    on that list, but it is *not* connected with the decision-making process of the
    UTC. Thus any feedback received on the list is purely informal (and sometimes
    random, based on the individual involved). An internal dispute within the
    Initiative has little place on this list.

    ► शिष्यादिच्छेत्पराजयम् ◄

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Patrick Durusau" <>
    To: "Dean Snyder" <>
    Cc: "Initiative for Cuneiform Encoding" <>; "Unicode List"
    Sent: Wed, 2004 Jan 14 10:41
    Subject: Re: Cuneiform - Dynamic vs. Static

    > Dean,
    > Dean Snyder wrote:
    > > Two basic models for encoding cuneiform have been discussed - dynamic and
    > > static.
    > <snip>
    > >
    > > Recently I proposed we re-think the decision made at the Initiative for
    > > Cuneiform Encoding conferences to statically encode cuneiform. The
    > > reaction has been mixed, but I consider only 2 of the objections as
    > > material. (I have appended to this email excerpts from the various
    > > reactions along with some of my responses.):
    > >
    > Actually you omitted from the principal part of your post the one that
    > actually matters the most, that the issue of what model to follow has
    > been discussed, including your model, and more importantly, the model to
    > follow has been chosen. The decision was to follow the static model and
    > not your proposed dynamic model. As a consequence, the recent submission
    > made to the UTC follows the static model.
    > It is not a technical issue but one of process. Standards are developed
    > based on decisions following discussion and debate. Your model has been
    > discussed and was not chosen. As one of the organizers of the two ICE
    > conferences and an active participant in all of those discussions, you
    > are aware of the discussions and the decision to not follow your
    > proposal. To reiterate a proposal in the standards process that was not
    > chosen simply disrupts the standards process.
    > People have invested a lot of time and effort getting the proposal to
    > this point and to abandon it now, is ill-advised and wasteful. Not to
    > mention inconsistent with any orderly notion of standards development.
    > At some point decisions have to be made and in this case have been made,
    > on how to proceed. The time has come to proceed.
    > Patrick
    > --
    > Patrick Durusau
    > Director of Research and Development
    > Society of Biblical Literature
    > Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
    > Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
    > Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!

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