Re: Multiple Writing Directions in One Script

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Wed May 26 2004 - 15:56:36 CDT

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    Kenneth Whistler wrote at 1:19 PM on Tuesday, May 25, 2004:

    >TUS 4.0, p. 43 (available online):
    >"The historical directionalities are of interest almost exclusively
    >to scholars intent on reproducing the exact visual content of
    >ancient texts. The Unicode Standard does not provide direct
    >support for them. Fixed texts can, however, be written in
    >boustrophedon or in other directional conventions by using
    >hard line breaks and directionality overrides."
    >That is how it should be handled in Unicode.
    >And there is no point in making a Unicode proposal to do otherwise,
    >as the UTC has shown no interest in treating such multiple
    >directionality layouts as anything other than concerns for
    >higher-level protocols.

    Thanks for the good and quick reply.

    The only issue I see about Unicode's position on multiple
    directionalities, which seems correct, even elegant, for ancient texts
    where, at least in my kind of work, I am not concerned about line
    wrapping, is that it could present problems for a MODERN script that
    exhibited multiple directionalities. I'm just curious - are there any
    modern scripts with multiple directionalities? And if so, wouldn't
    Unicode's position here present problems for them?

    At any rate, I'm happy to not to have to deal with such issues in my
    Archaic Greek proposal. :-)


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897

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