Re: Just if and where is the then?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 06:52:12 CDT

From: "Doug Ewell" <>
> The solution is *not* to develop a new African 8-bit encoding that
> encodes Ẹ́ and ẹ́ as precomposed characters, and then try to use that
> as a justification for getting them encoded as precomposed characters in
> Unicode, "but without any canonical equivalence."

Did I develop and promote such encoding? I will not because I don't need it.

It's up to African communities or governments or local instituions and
educational organizations to decide if they wish such encoding, if this
development is justified by a reasonable reduction of costs with an increased
compatibility with low-cost softwares and systems, and simplified processes to
get appropriate fonts and input methods supporting a well-defined and reduced
subset, needed for the languages they wish to normalize and stabilize with an
accepted orthography that can be taught.

The Unicode-ISO/IEC 10646 standards are great for interchange of data
internationally, but offers no help for the local development of languages. For
them, there's a need to simplify what is really needed for each language, decide
an common reduced alphabet, and be able to create easy to learn orthographic

Unification will still be possible with Unicode, without necessarily needing a
1-to-1 mapping between each Unicode code point and each code position in this
standardized subset. I think it is really possible (and desirable) to create
such subset for the corresponding languages, while also keeping a round-trop
compatibility (limited to the languages considered), even if this is performed
by 1-to-N mappings from the new charset and Unicode. This won't break the
compatibility with the Unicode stability policy.

Knowing that Unicode-ISO/IEC 10646 is a now de facto standard (after being a de
jure one in ISO) will clearly guide those charset developments complying with
Unicode rules and policies, so that such adoption will not create a nightmare to
handle, with unreasonable additional costs for transcoding to/from/through

I see absolutely no problem if new ISO-8859-* variants is added in the future
for better support of African or Asian languages (or even for European ones,
i.e. Georgian and Armenian), and no opposition of principles if some newer
ISO2022 charset is created for Canadian Syllabics or Ethiopic if this helps
processing the corresponding languages.

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