Re: [BULK] - Re: Interleaved collation of related scripts

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Fri May 14 2004 - 14:08:31 CDT

  • Next message: Dean Snyder: "RE: [BULK] - RE: interleaved ordering (was RE: Phoenician)"

    On 14/05/2004 11:50, Mike Ayers wrote:

    > ...
    > > Mike Ayers suggested that users should write Perl scripts.
    > Liar. I never advocate Perl, except as a final, desperate
    > measure. Nor did I say that anyone needed to write scripts.
    > Normalization is something that can and should be done by text
    > processing applications - users should only need to make the
    > normalization tables.

    Well, Mike, you wrote:

    > > >Do you expect it to happen often enough that hacking together a Perl
    > > >script to do it once isn't going to get the job done?
    > >
    > > Yes.
    > One normalization script could be used any number of times.
    > Clip, normalize, sort - repeat as necessary.

    Maybe it wasn't you who originally suggested "hacking together a Perl
    script", but I understood you as supporting that suggestion with the
    idea that such a script would be reusable. If I misunderstood you, I
    apologise, but "liar" is rather too strong a word, don't you think?

    > > This is
    > > something which computer geeks may be able to do, but it is simply
    > > impossible for the rest of humanity including scholars of ancient
    > > languages.
    > This statement is grossly inconsistent with most linguistic
    > scholars I have met, directly or indirectly, and inconsstent with the
    > part of general humanity have met. Have I really been that fortunate?

    Well, if you really think everyone in the world is able to write Perl
    scripts, then you have been not fortunate but extremely unfortunate to
    have lived entirely in a circle of exceptionally gifted geeks. Get
    yourself a life, Mike!

    > > Perl is not "God's gift to academic researchers"
    > > in general,
    > > although it may be God's gift to computer geeks.
    > Perl isn't God's gift to anything - it's Larry's gift to
    > cyberbrutality (which is, in its own twisted way, a Beautiful Thing).
    > > The other problem with this is that the large corpora to be
    > > searched are
    > > not necessarily directly available to the users for normalisation. I
    > > can't normalise the whole Internet before doing a Google search for a
    > > Coptic or Phoenician word. What I need is a search engine
    > > which can (at
    > > least as a tailoring) collate together Coptic and Greek,
    > > Phoenician and
    > > Hebrew.
    > Your issues with Google searching are best taken up with the
    > folks at Google. The default collation properties aren't goin to
    > matter there, I suspect.

    I have no issues with the folks at Google. But there is at least a
    chance that some decent search engine will sometime support at least
    default collation.

    > > It really would be
    > > far better,
    > > in the long run, if you said openly that anyone who continues
    > > to write
    > > Phoenician with Hebrew characters after the new block is accepted is
    > > wrong and breaking the standard, and should change their practices
    > > immediately.
    > No, it wouldn't. I know I should add something, but I'm just
    > too awed by the gap between reality and the perception you seem to
    > have of it on this issue.

    Mike, I was not addressing you here.

    > > But then if you said that you would of course add a lot more flame to
    > > the fire, and you would be forced to consider properly whether such
    > > proposals as the separate Phoenician script have consensus
    > > support from
    > > the majority of regular professional users of the script.
    > ...implying that a proper job is not being done now? I beg to
    > differ.

    Well, I accepted somewhat reluctantly that Phoenician should be
    separately encoded because a small number of users want it to be,
    although a majority apparently do not want it to be. This would not be
    an acceptable position if Unicode intended to force all users of
    Phoenician to move immediately to the new script - although it would
    actually make much more sense to do so. The small minority should not be
    allowed to impose their will on the majority. Do you understand me now?
    It's a bit like saying that if a small number of people want to be
    allowed to, say, write their e-mails in Perl script (I am searching for
    an analogy you may understand, Mike), they should be allowed to; but
    they should not be able to force their unusual preferences on the rest
    of us.

    > /|/|ike

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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