From: Peter Kirk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 08:52:39 EST
On 30/03/2004 04:31, John Cowan wrote:
>Peter Kirk scripsit:
>>Yes it is, in Unicode 4.0.0. Ernest quoted from UAX #14 "All other space
>>characters have fixed width." This may be in the standard by mistake,
>>but it is in the standard. Asmus says that this will be changed in
>>4.0.1, but that has not yet been released. If a statement is written in
>>a standard, even in the introduction to a different section, that is
>This is just false. All standards known to me have both normative and
>informative parts; there can be no presumption that a certain text is
>normative merely because it is in the standard.
>It's true that the Unicode Standard in particular does not always
>clearly distinguish between normative and informative text; but
>in general it would surprise me if anything said in an introduction
>was to be taken as normative.
I accept that some standards do have sections which are described as
informative, and as such they are an exception to what I wrote. But as
the purpose of a standard is to be normative, it is reasonable to
assume, as I have, that its text is normative unless otherwise indicated.
From the introductory material (not the oddly named "section 3
Introduction") to UAX 14, http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr14/:
> /This document has been reviewed by Unicode members and other
> interested parties, and has been approved by the Unicode Technical
> Committee as a *Unicode Standard Annex*. This is a stable document and
> may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference by
> other specifications./
The implication is that this whole document, not just parts of it, is
>>But this doesn't solve the Tamil etc problem as what is needed there is
>>a non-spacing non-breaking base character which can allow the vowel to
>>display without the dotted circle. Perhaps ZWJ would be suitable.
>The use of SP or NBSP works fine for vowels as well as other combining
No. At least it does not work for spacing combining marks unless the
space of NBSP is compressed to zero width, which you said earlier was
not permitted. Alphabets etc are commonly listed in columns, and those
columns need to be straight. If one item in the column is preceded by a
space of non-zero width, the column will not line up. I accept that
formatting details like this are outside the scope of Unicode, but I do
think that Unicode should not make it impossible to display spacing
combining marks as part of an aligned column.
>>In that case something clear and sensible needs to be added about Indic
>>I would say that if specific products do not support dictionaries,
>>indexes or literacy primers in Tamil, they cannot claim to support Tamil.
>This is extremist. Not only products, but whole standards, have rightly
>claimed to support English without being able to support the specialized
>requirements of dictionaries -- for IPA or another phonetic spelling
>system, for syllabication dots, for condensed typography, for the
>ability to set text in multiple tight columns. Indeed, it may be
>fairly said that even now Unicode does not provide full support for
>all the characters used in English lexicography.
IPA and other phonetic spelling systems are not part of the English
writing system, and so do not need to be supported as part of it. Tamil
vowels are part of the Tamil writing system, even in isolation, and so
do need to be supported by it.
-- Peter Kirk email@example.com (personal) firstname.lastname@example.org (work) http://www.qaya.org/
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