Everson-bashing (was: Phoenician)

From: John Cowan (cowan@ccil.org)
Date: Tue May 11 2004 - 00:32:32 CDT

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    Peter Kirk scripsit:

    > But have the others agreed with his judgments because they are convinced
    > of their correctness? Or is it more that the others have trusted the
    > judgments of the one they consider to be an expert, and have either not
    > dared to stand up to him or have simply been unqulified to do so?

    This is laughable.

    > It amazes me that all of the existing scripts have apparently been encoded
    > without any properly documented justification apart from one expert's
    > unchallenged judgments.

    It would be amazing if it were true, but of course it's absolutely false.

    > And these two cases are hardly a good advertisement for the expert's
    > reputation. The Coptic/Greek unification proved to be ill-advised and is
    > being undone. As for the unified W and Q, well, I guess that if the
    > Kurds and others who use these letters in Cyrillic knew how this
    > decision would mean that their alphabet will never be sorted correctly
    > (unless they get round to tailoring their collations), they would make a
    > strongly argued case for disunification.

    Nobody writes Kurdish in Cyrillic any more: it's a historic use of the
    script only.

    In any event, Michael had *nothing* to do with those unifications.
    He has consistently pressed for disunification (rightly, IMHO).

    > Well, perhaps the expert can
    > feel how much his fingers have been burned by over-unification and so is
    > now pressing for everything to be disunified.

    Nonsense, and insulting nonsense to boot. Michael has never pressed
    for either total unification or total disunification, because both
    positions are absurd, and his position is never absurd. (I may
    disagree with it from time to time, and I am willing to press him for
    reasons, but I *always* respect his point of view.)

    This verbal sniping on a subject (the history of character encoding)
    you know nothing about is beneath you. Try and do better.

    > And then there is the matter of CJK unification, which I gather is still
    > rather contentious.

    Only among the invincibly ignorant.

    John Cowan   <jcowan@reutershealth.com>   http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
    "One time I called in to the central system and started working on a big
    thick 'sed' and 'awk' heavy duty data bashing script.  One of the geologists
    came by, looked over my shoulder and said 'Oh, that happens to me too.
    Try hanging up and phoning in again.'"  --Beverly Erlebacher

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