Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: Ernest Cline (
Date: Thu May 20 2004 - 09:08:57 CDT

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    > [Original Message]
    > From: John Hudson <>
    > Ernest Cline wrote:
    > > I would be very surprised if there were such a cybercafe. One
    > > that had both a Hebrew-Phoenican and a Hebrew-Hebrew font
    > > with the Hebrew-Phoenician as the default would be much easier
    > > to believe as a possibility. Still, it is a valid point. I think that
    > > Phoenician were to be unified with Hebrew, it would probably
    > > behoove Unicode to establish variation sequences for Phoenician.
    > This is not a practical use of variation sequences if, by this, you
    > mean use of variation selectors. What are you going to do, add
    > a variation selector after every single base character in the text?
    > Are you expecting fonts to support the tiny stylistic variations
    > between Phoenician, Moabite, Palaeo-Hebrew, etc. -- variations
    > that are not even cleanly defined by language usage -- with such
    > sequences?
    > Some people seem keen on variation selectors in the same
    > way that others are keen on PUA: as a catch-all solution to
    > non-existent problems.

    To quote from Section 15.6 of TUS 4.0 "A variation sequence,
    which always consists of a base character followed by the
    variation selector, may be specified as part of the Unicode
    Standard." Adding a variation _selector_ would mean using
    another code point which is not what I am intending here.

    Variation sequences are a potential solution to any question of
    unification/disunfication of scripts. They may not be the optimal
    solution, but they are a solution. My point was that I have seen
    enough evidence to absolutely convince me that if both glyph
    repertoires are unified in a single script, variation sequences
    would be necessary. It has not convinced me that either
    unification or disunification would be desirable.

    Just as there are no hard and fast rules for disunification of
    scripts, there are no hard and fast rules for when variation
    sequences are appropriate. The only guidance that the
    standard offers for when variation sequences are appropriate
    is: "... provide a mechanism for specifying variants ... that have
    essentially the same semantic but substantially different ranges
    of glyphs." Those arguing in favor of unification claim that the
    repertoires have the same semantics and those arguing in
    favor of separation base at least part of their argument upon
    the glyph shapes. This indicates to me that variation
    sequences are a potential solution that should be considered,
    even if it ends up being rejected in favor of disunification.

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