Re: New contribution

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sat May 01 2004 - 11:45:31 CST

On 30/04/2004 16:32, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

> ...
>Michael keeps pointing out (and others, including the Johns, have
>recognized) that encoding a set of Phoenician letters does not
>*require* any Semitic scholar to represent Palaeo-Hebrew text
>using those letters.
>It does *permit* them (or anyone else) to do so -- an option that
>they do not have today because, of course, no Phoenician letters
>are encoded in the Unicode Standard. Today, one has no option
>*except* to use Hebrew letters and choose an appropriate
>(non-square-Hebrew) font to display them.

Ken, in one sense the Unicode standard does not REQUIRE anyone to do
anything but only PERMITS them to do so. But in another sense, if it
fails to REQUIRE anything it becomes a waste of time. And if it requires
anything at all beyond the very basic conformance requirements, it can
be presumed to require that the Latin blocks are used for Latin script,
the Hebrew block for Hebrew script, and so (if and when one is defined)
the Phoenician block for Phoenician script. If the Hebrew block is use
for Phoenician script (not for transliteration but with masquerading
fonts), that is just as much a failure to do what Unicode requires as to
use the Latin block for Hebrew script with a legacy encoding.

>Or shall we just continue debating this issue forever, trying
>to decide which half of the baby to give to which party
>in the dispute?

Good analogy! But the way round this dilemma is perhaps to look at the
evidence from the user community, which is not cited in the proposal.

Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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