From: Michael Everson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 20:31:10 EST
In the good old days of 8-bit, if one wanted to make a Thaana font
that worked, one used 8-bit Arabic code points for the letters and
Arabic code points for the vowels signs. It was a hack, but it
worked. It worked because the OS (Mac, PC, whatever) treated the
characters appropriately to their DEFINED meanings. Of course, the
font-hacker was cheating, but in terms of processing, what he did
Now we've got the PUA and we say "use it". Let's look at
non-standardized Tengwar then. Tengwar has letters and combining
marks, and is encoded in the CSUR. (Revision is long overdue, but
never mind that.) Let's pretend that no one will ever encode Tengwar.
What is preferable:
All PUA characters are defined as whatever they are, and there you go.
PUA characters can be defined, locally and privately, according to
some protocal which will WORK if people write software to do what
I am not a programmer. But if the first scenario is all that people
can have, won't they just start substituting Tengwar consonants for
Unicode U+00xx characters, and substituting Tengwar vowels for
Unicode U+03xx characters?
What I see people asking for is some sort of protocol that, locally
and privately, between agreeing parties, they can use to say what a
PUA character's properties are.
Is that something we can give them? For surely in the absence of such
a protocol, it's back to the world of "ASCII hacks" with U+ encoding.
In other words, it's fine for the UTC to say "PUA characters are all
LTR spacing characters" but for people who need to do something else,
the means to do so should be made available to them.
If I have understood the question.
-- Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
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