RE: MCW encoding of Hebrew (was RE: Response to Everson Ph and why Jun 7? fervor)

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 21:10:12 CDT

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    > From: Philippe Verdy []
    > Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 3:28 PM

    > Is it a joke? UTF-8 designates Unicode codepoints refering to
    > Unicode abstract characters with all their semantic (including
    > the character name and properties).

    No, it is not a tweak. For years, many scholars working with electronic
    versions of Biblical texts have used the MCW (not MCS -- a typo on my
    part) representation, which is effectively a Latin cipher of Hebrew and
    Greek characters. The abstract characters are entirely Basic Latin
    characters, but they are standing for Hebrew or Greek characters.

    > You can't say that the tableabove is ASCII not either Unicode.
    > It's only a separate legacy 7-bit encoding.

    It certainly could be considered ASCII or Unicode Basic Latin
    characters: they are always documented as such, and viewed as such. One
    *could* also consider it a legacy encoding of non-Latin characters, but
    in practice it's not used that way -- it's only at a higher level of
    interpretation (on the part of the user, not the system) that these are
    Hebrew or Greek characters.

    > which is probably
    > not widely interoperable because unimplemented or not documented
    > in the same common places as where ASCII and Unicode are defined.

    Well, actually, it *is* interoperable within the sizeable community that
    has adopted that convention -- they can and do interchange data using
    this. You can find content using this representation in such places as
    the Oxford Text Archive.

    Peter Constable

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