Re: Glyph Stance

From: saqqara (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 05:51:29 CDT

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    RE: Glyph Stance
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Mike Ayers
    Sent: Friday, May 28, 2004 1:12 AM
    Subject: RE: Glyph Stance

    > Thinking about script rotation generically fundamentally requires
    > debating abstracts. Perhaps you would be better served by
    > expressing your direct needs.

    True, although abstraction, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I
    shall not use the P-word here but we have recently seen a debating game in
    this list. A poor substitute for a well-researched counter-proposal for
    comment IMO.

    > Consider my response to be my way of pointing out that
    > anyone who wishes to declare glyph mirroring and rotation
    > to be apropos for modern scripts will need a solid case.
    > I'm not fundamentally opposed to these things, but any
    > movement or blurring (further blurring?) of the line
    > between plain text and marked up text really should
    > be absolutely necessary.

    Fully agree

    > ...As you get some time, perhaps you could inform us
    > on issues directly related to hieroglyphics. I would be
    > most interested. or should I perhaps be checking the archives?

    Pleased to.

    Recap. Michaels 'n1944' proposal for Egyptian Hieroglyphs in Unicode (1999)
    is a good introduction to some of the issues involved. The control codes
    there (pp 19-20) include mirroring and are simply transcription into Unicode
    of current Latin computer transliteration conventions for Egyptian. This
    proposal was regarded as controversial at the time not only because of the
    technical problems associated with control codes. Some commentators called
    into question the wisdom of encoding Egyptian at all. Others were unhappy
    about a character set based on the Hieroglyphica catalogue, although happy
    to a degree with the notion of starting with the more limited 'BASIC'
    subset. Issues like collation tread unfamiliar territory.

    I understand the UTC position was in favour of coding a basic
    (partial-Gardiner) character set but deferring the larger corpus and control
    elements. This would have been useful and fine to build on incrementally but
    IMO 5 years on, it is not only possible but highly desirable to go further
    than this.

    My own conclusion is to move forward, a testbed PUA/OpenType font
    implementation combined with a model XML presentation layer is needed to
    illustrate and resolve issues and establish consensus support among the
    potential user base. Action not more words. Collation needs to be addressed
    and I can forsee problems here. Done most of the groundwork already but
    suspect will be into next year before I can make available a full set of
    material for useful discussion of Egyptian in this forum.

    Meanwhile happy to hear from anyone with an interest or help in discussion
    of any related topics that arise meanwhile.

    Bob Richmond
    Saqqara Technology

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