Re: New contribution

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 10:22:54 EDT

  • Next message: Chris Jacobs: "[off topic] Klingon"

    C J Fynn wrote at 10:18 AM on Thursday, April 29, 2004:

    >Dean Snyder <> wrote:
    >> 3) How will you encode it, given you have at your disposal Hebrew,
    >> Phoenician, and Aramaic encodings?
    >If the scripts are as structurally near identical as it is claimed they are
    >then it should be straightforward to create a simlpe utility to transpose
    >between Hebrew, Phonecian, and Aramaic block encodings and/or a "smart" font
    >which can be used to display characters from one of these scripts with glyphs
    >from another.

    Yes, such utilities are trivial to write, but if you multiply the need to
    resolve this mess this way for every Unicode-based West Semitic
    dictionary, grammar, textbook, web page, research article, database,
    search engine, and end user software project, you begin to see the kinds
    of problems caused by the proliferation of wrong-headed sub-divisions of
    West Semitic "scripts" in plain text.

    >It always going to be harder to disunify data at a later date than to
    >unify it
    >since with plain, un-tagged text there is no indication of which script the
    >original text was written in, unless it is encoded with a seperate sub-set of
    >Unicode characters.

    I'm suggesting that the dis-unification remain at the markup level for
    some of the proposed West Semitic encodings.

    >> 4) How will your possible miss-encoding affect future software results?
    >Why would this be a "miss-encoding"? I'd look at text encoded using
    >characters for particular scripts as being "finer grained" than where
    text of
    >different scripts is encoded using the characters for a single script.
    >You can
    >always go from high resolution to low resolution but not the other way round.

    But if the fine grained analysis is wrong at the more fundamental plain
    text level the error propagates farther and is more trouble to deal with
    than if it is at the markup level.


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897

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