Re: FW: Web Form: Subj: Against Phoenician

Date: Fri Apr 30 2004 - 15:57:19 EDT

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    Ego et Michael Everson inter se scripserunt:

    > >An alternate version of Michael could present a similarly
    > >technically impeccable proposal for Gaelic script, and then the
    > >question would be, is it the same as Latin, or is it a separate
    > >script requiring a separate encoding?
    > Except that he wouldn't do that, for reasons which have been stated already.
    > >Ah, I see the next battle line forming: Is Fraser a separate script, or
    > >just an oddball application of Latin caps for which we need a few new ones?
    > It is a separate script.
    > >The Initial Teaching Alphabet, which also favors dead-simple glyphs,
    > >may be relevant, perhaps even unifiable.
    > They are Latin extensions.

    See, the problem is that when you make this sort of apodictic claim,
    you make them as if you pulled them out of your butt. Now as to myself
    personally, I don't mind this behavior -- I engage in it frequently.
    (Others may have a different view.)

    But in the long run, it matters very much that we can systematically
    justify decisions of this kind by means other than "Michael Everson
    said it was the Right Thing." One day, Michael Everson will be dead and
    unable to answer questions, and Unicode / ISO 10646 will hopefully still
    be trucking on. At that point it will be necessary to be able to answer
    *why* and not just *what*, and that can only be done if the *why*s get
    into the formative documents and thence to the Unicode Standard.

    > >N2311 is a flat statement of *what*; it gives few clues to *why*.
    > As if I didn't know what I was doing.

    But the judgments you apply must be open to public review.

    > > > Neither does Phoenician descend from Hebrew.
    > >
    > >That is a mere matter of terminology.
    > THAT is bollocks. It is not at all a mere matter of terminology.

    What I meant was this: if Unicode had, for God knows what reason, encoded
    Phoenician first and was now considering Square Hebrew, presumably you
    would be floating a Hebrew proposal. And if I said it could be encoded
    as an extension of the existing Phoenician encoding, you wouldn't be
    able to reply in the form above.

    It's a matter of convenience that the first time we encoded the 22CWSA,
    we did so under the name "Hebrew". Similarly, we encoded Greek first
    and are not considering encoding Archaic Greek as a separate 24-letter
    alphabet, notwithstanding that Archaic Greek is not a descendant of Greek.

    > >It's too late to call the Hebrew script and block the West Semitic
    > >Abjad script and block, but that's what it can become in practice.
    > (pukes)

    That is not a counterargument.

    Where the wombat has walked,            John Cowan <>
    it will inevitably walk again.

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