Re: Cuneiform Free Variation Selectors

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun Jan 18 2004 - 17:23:16 EST

  • Next message: Dean Snyder: "Re: Cuneiform Free Variation Selectors"

    At 13:53 -0800 2004-01-18, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >I find this kind of attempted censorship of
    >technical discussion highly distasteful,
    >especially when conducted in such a
    >disrespectful (!) ad hominem manner.

    Softer words haven't worked. Dean keeps coming
    back and reopening the issue on the public forum,
    and it is a non-starter, and it needs to be
    quashed. I have the dubious honour of being the
    one to actually *say* that the emperor has no
    clothes. But I am by no means the only one who is
    vastly annoyed at Dean and his tactics in this

    >Michael, it is quite clear that the "decision"
    >to use the static model, which you claim has
    >been made finally (although as I understand it
    >the UTC has yet to come to a conclusion on the

    You are mistaken.

    >does not have the full backing and confidence of
    >the experts on cuneiform script (I am not one;
    >nor, I think, are you).

    You are mistaken. All of the experts, and the
    major players in the UTC and WG2, who have dealt
    with this issue have explained to Dean in no
    uncertain terms that what he is trying to do is
    unworkable, undesirable, will result in Cuneiform
    failing to be encoded in Unicode 5.0. This
    discussion has mostly been on the Cuneiform list
    (where it belongs) but Dean keeps coming over
    here and trying to drum up support for his
    ill-conceived and ever-mutating idea.

    I do not read any language written in Cuneiform.
    I am, however, well able to evaluate principles
    for its encoding. That is one of my functions.

    >The implication is clearly that the whole issue
    >needs to be referred back to these experts for
    >further consideration.

    No, the implication is that there is one person there who will not listen.

    >It will simply not work to impose on them a
    >solution which is unacceptable to a good number
    >of them.

    What them?

    >If there are good technical arguments against
    >what Dean is proposing (and I agree with you at
    >least that following the Mongolian model does
    >not look promising - the distinction Dean makes
    >in his last paragraph between graphical
    >difference and semantic difference shows that
    >the same model does not fit), then those
    >arguments should be made in a proper technical

    They have been. Decisions to go with a static
    model (analogous to CJK and Canadian Syllabics
    for instance) were made in 2001 and have been
    reaffirmed since then, including at UTCs and two
    meetings in Baltimore which I attended.

    >So please take this issue back to the drawing board

    Absolutely not.

    >and discuss it again on the proper list

    It has been.

    >in a proper respectful manner on both sides.

    Even the Buddha taught that anger can be useful,
    as a tool to get through to someone who thinks
    nothing is wrong. Well, Dean's harping on this
    issue is wrong, and is irritating lots of people.
    A lot. And this needs to be shut down.

    >Michael, I think you are probably right on the
    >technical issue. But you need to persuade Dean
    >of that by proper argument and not impose your
    >solution on him against his will.

    No, I don't. We have all tried to do so (Rick,
    Ken, I, Karljürgen, and others, in copious
    detail) and he is escalating rather than
    listening. That is a waste of time, when the
    architectural decisions for encoding Cuneiform
    *have* been made.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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