Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 12:32:49 CDT

  • Next message: "Re: Response to Everson Phoenician and why June 7?"

    James Kass wrote:

    >>Because they want to search documents in the
    >>Hebrew *language* using Hebrew characters in
    >>search strings?

    >>Because they don't want to guess
    >>in what script variant an online corpus is encoded
    >>when doing searches?

    > Guessing's not their job. It's up to a sophisticated search
    > engine to find what users seek. Some of us have tried to
    > dispel some of these fears by pointing out possible solutions.

    Indeed, and I have made similar points to my semiticist and Biblical scholarship friends
    and correspondents regarding methods for working around the canonical combining class
    problems for Hebrew, and generally try to help people realise that the aspects of Unicode
    that seem to them 'broken' are not necessarily an impediment to getting work done.
    However, all this has left the understandable impression among many of these people that
    Unicode almost goes out of its way to make things difficult for people working with
    ancient Hebrew texts. Things that should be simple end up being complicated and require
    the development of sophisticated systems to perform simple tasks. Now the perception seems
    to be that in order to facilitate plain-text distinction of 'Phoenician' and Hebrew, yet
    more complexity and sophistication will be required to encode, search and study ancient
    texts. Frankly, I don't blame people for asking whether that distinction is worth the trouble.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Typespaces, by Peter Burnhill
    White Mughals, by William Dalrymple
    Hebrew manuscripts of the Middle Ages, by Colette Sirat

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