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

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 13:30:02 CDT

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    On 14/05/2004 13:00, wrote:

    >Peter Kirk scripsit:
    >>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.
    >Neither you nor anyone else knows what the majority wants, because most
    >interested parties have never even heard of this debate. It's natural
    >to suppose that The Majority R Us, but there's no evidence for it.

    I accept that evidence for this has not yet been collected and
    demonstrated. If the UTC were to ask for some such evidence, I could
    work on collecting it, and so could Dean who may be in a better position
    to do so. Of course I might be wrong, the majority might go the other
    way. But at present neither side can make any claim for a majority.

    >In any case, it's the majority in the UTC (and ultimately the Consortium)
    >that matters, and the UTC works mostly by consensus anyway.
    Understood. But if the UTC is working properly it should base at least
    some of its decisions on the requirements of the majority of users of a
    particular script. Other decisions might be more appropriately based on
    a minority special requirement even if the majority is opposed. As a
    first stab at suggesting a criterion, perhaps the decision should be
    based on whether the interests of the majority are actually harmed in
    any way by the acceptance of a proposal supported only by a minority.

    >>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.
    >Unicode doesn't wield force, nor does the UTC, nor the Consortium,
    >nor its members (except for the Governments of India and Pakistan,
    >who probably don't give a RRRA about this issue).
    Well, UTC members can force users of their software to conform to
    Unicode, or to whatever standards they choose to impose on their users,
    although of course they need to please the majority of their users if
    they are to maintain their market share. And the UTC members
    collectively have more or less a monopoly on certain kinds of software.
    So, OK, people who don't want to follow Unicode don't have to because
    they can go back to pen, paper and abacuses, or if they have the
    resources they can write their own software from the OS upwards. But all
    other users are in effect forced to follow Unicode. I'm not of course
    saying that's a bad thing, but it is not a free choice by users.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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