RE: vertical direction control

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 15:31:17 EST

  • Next message: Stefan Persson: "Re: vertical direction control"

    Ernest Cline wrote:

    > It also doesn't account for boustrephedon writing direction either.
                                  < Gr. strepho, but pf. estropha

    Intentionally. That is an issue for a higher-level protocol concerned
    with line layout, rather than the plain text encoding itself.

    By the way, while Peter Constable noted that

    "the interaction of a boustrophedon with bidi is a valid issue."

    I would contend that that is at the higher level where bidi
    interacts with the line layout mechanism that determines the
    directional context, rather than inside the bidi algorithm itself.

    Besides, this is really a very, very marginal concern. All real world
    exemplars of boustrophedon are *not* bidirectional text, and all
    real world exemplars of bidirectional text are not laid out in
    boustrophedon. Why? Well, because it would be a stupid thing to
    do and give readers and writers headaches.

    > If Moon Code [1] is ever added as a Unicode script, then Unicode
    > may need to deal with the fact that this script is written today using
    > boustrephedon. The other boustrephedon scripts are, if I remember
    > correctly, either ancient and/or also usable with a non-boustrephedon
    > writing direction. On the other hand, it might just leave this detail to
    > a higher level protocol.

    Exactly. Tinkering with the bidi algorithm to try deal with
    boustrophedon is just silly.

    > [1]

    Is Moon Type in actual use, or just a historical curiosity? William
    Moon was a 19th century figure.

    Some things to note:

    Moon Type is a Left-to-right script, just like Greek, that happens
    to be laid out in boustrophedon to assist in fingers following
    the lines of type from one side of the page to the other. Very
    reasonable experiment for an embossed writing system for the blind.

    In its intended use, for embossed writing for the blind, Moon
    Type could not be mixed with anything else. But, of course,
    metatexts *about* Moon Type, like that website, can and do
    mix such symbols with Latin text. However, there is no indication
    that a bi-script Latin/Moon text per se would make any sense.

    The main alphabet is an Latin cipher -- one character for each
    of the 26 letters A-Z. But there are additional symbols for
    some common English phonemes and some abbreviatory conventions,
    a numeric sign, and so forth, that would require additional
    characters to encode such a system.

    It is an English-only system, by the way, with lists of word
    abbreviations for common English words.


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