RE: Just if and where is the then?

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 16:03:06 CDT

> From: []
On Behalf
> Of Philippe Verdy

> > I guarantee you that creating a new 8-bit encoding specific to the
> > language(s) you are dealing with, and getting fonts developed for
> > encoding, and trying to exchange data in this new encoding with
> > will cause more problems for the university than working with
> For your university yes, most probably, but for local native users of
the script
> I would disagree, there's a radically different usage and need pattern
> interchanged data in a heterogeneous environment, and local usage.

Philippe, my experience working for many years with SIL tells me
otherwise. There were a lot of costs and lost productivity that resulted
from local users using custom 8-bit encodings. We used to do it because
there was no alternative. Now there is an alternative, however, and
Unicode is definitely the better choice for the local users, because
they will be able to obtain fonts & software that support their language
far more readily, and they become much less dependent on IT specialists
to help them (a) implement support for their language and (b) help them
work around the myriad issues they encounter when trying to get software
that has no awareness of a custom encoding to do what they want.

And if you reply that you mean new 8-bit ISO-standard encodings, as far
as existing software is concerned, that would be just as unsupported as
a custom encoding would be.

Peter Constable
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Microsoft Windows Division

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