RE: PH technical issues (was RE: Why Fraktur is irrelevant

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 18:07:23 CDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Phoenician, Fraktur etc"

    > From: []
    On Behalf
    > Of D. Starner

    > Scholars often need to seperate text by the particular
    > script the text was written in, often down to the
    > very scribe. That's done by storing it some sort
    > of tagged format, and having your search system
    > let you select based on the script--trivial in most
    > database systems. Phoencian and Hebrew are just a bit
    > broader than most distinctions.

    So, saying that, while people have asked for plain-text distinction of
    their text, they can accomplish what they need using markup, and it's
    not unreasonable to ask them to do so.


    That seems to me to be a greater level of inconvenience for the
    anti-unification paleographers as the pro-unification paleographers
    would face with distinct encodings (needing to fold character
    distinctions), and probably for implementers wanting to support both as
    well as for general users. But that's an initial reaction that would
    need to be backed up by more discerning analysis than "seems to me"

    Usage scenario (undesirable results): 16-year-old Sally is writing an
    email to her friend Latisha regarding a presentation they are doing
    together the next day in their history class. Latisha has to say
    something related to development of European alphabets. Sally puts some
    example words into the email using Latin and the corresponding
    Phoenician as a comparison, so that Latisha can put that into her
    presentation boards / slides. The email is received as plain text,
    however, and Latisha's mail client formats it in square Hebrew glyphs.
    Sally is the one that looked into Phoenician, so Latisha doesn't realize
    there is an issue. The problem is not discovered until mid-way through
    their presentation.

    Alternate scenario (desireable results): Because Phoenician is encoded
    distinctly from Hebrew, the plain-text email is still formatted in an
    acceptable manner by Latisha's mail client, and the correct content is
    put in the presentation.

    This is one of many possible usage scenarios, and some will surely have
    desirable or undesirable results under the *opposite* conditions. The
    challenge is to identify a set of scenarios that reasonably cover the
    various situations and issues that may arise -- or do our best to
    imagine what those would be like -- and assess which choice leads to the
    overall best results (recognizing that bad results in one scenarios
    might be more or less costly than bad results in another).

    Peter Constable
    Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
    Microsoft Windows Division

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