Re: Updated Phoenician proposal: confidential?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 06:29:50 CDT

  • Next message: Rick McGowan: "Re: Updated Phoenician proposal: confidential?"

    On 29/05/2004 19:49, Christopher Fynn wrote:

    > Peter Kirk wrote:
    >> Rick, I apologise to you. You obviously are doing all that is
    >> reasonable to publish this document ASAP. I'm not so sure about
    >> apologising to Mr Everson; I would first like an explanation from him
    >> of why this updated version has not been made available at
    >> along with his other formal
    >> submissions. If the explanation is a polite one that he waits until
    >> the proposal is on the WG2 document register before he adds it to his
    >> web page, that will be sufficient.
    > I fail to understand why you think Michael Everson is obliged to post
    > a link to a revised proposal on his *personal * web site almost the
    > instant he submits such a document to WG2 - or explain to you or
    > anyone else why such a link is not there. It simply *is not* a
    > requirement that people who submit proposals to WG2 or UTC have to
    > provide a link to such documents from their own personal web pages. If
    > you couldn't find the document in the WG2 document directory, how was
    > Michael supposed to provide a link to it until it was posted there by
    > the person who maintains that site? - even then it is unreasonable
    > for you to expect him to update his own website right away (or even
    > at all) - or for you to expect him to provide an explanation if he
    > doesn't.

    Well, Michael, has now added a link, thanks for trying, but the link is
    broken presumably because the WG2 document register has not been
    updated. Of course I realise that the proposer is under no obligation to
    provide such a link. It was just that his failure to follow his normal
    practice in this case seemed to be making things more difficult for
    those who wanted to comment on the revised version. But I now understand
    that the problem was elsewhere. I'm sorry for seeming to blame Michael
    for this one.

    My concern is that the deadline for submissions before the UTC meeting
    and perhaps before the WG2 meeting is only 5 days away. Comments on the
    former proposal are met with a response like "It's been fixed in the new
    version", but the new version is not available. So I have a question:
    should I submit comments to the UTC based on the old version, and risk
    wasting the UTC's time if they have in fact been fixed, or should I wait
    to look at the new version and then submit my comments, even though that
    may mean the comments arrive late?

    > Anyway if it is a simple revision of a recently submitted document
    > chances are the new version may simply replace the old and not be
    > assigned a new document number and file name - in which case the old
    > link will work.

    Well, I tried and it doesn't.

    > Also you cannot *expect* "more than wording added to the block
    > introduction" or anything at all - If you want something along these
    > lines, make a submission to the editors of TUS who are responsible for
    > what goes in the block intro - and to the UTC or iso14651 if you have
    > a proposal about the collation of these characters - don't make
    > demands. Decisions on these things (block intro / collation) are
    > usually made only after it has been decided to encode the characters
    > themselves.
    Did I use the word "expect"? And in what context? If I used it
    inappropriately, I apologise. I should have said that this is what I
    wish to propose.

    On 30/05/2004 01:39, James Kass wrote:

    > ...
    >Michael Everson's credibility is well-established, in my book, and I can't
    >even conceive of a motive for him to try to deceive the committee.

    Well, I must say I found this hard to understand. I suppose he didn't
    want to put his proposal at risk by describing how the user community
    was, at least in part, opposed to the proposal. It is the proposer's
    failure to give any weight to the opposition to his proposal which
    offends me.

    >Michael Everson had responded earlier in these threads as to the
    >reason behind the answer to the user community contact question
    >in the proposal form. Also, the proposal itself did contain more
    >than the single word "no" in that same field.

    Yes, it did. It contained words which I understood along the lines of:
    "I know everything there is to know about this script, so I am simply
    going to ignore the user community and not even ask them is they support
    this proposal which is made in their name". I made the point before that
    I do not think that *ANY* new character proposal (except I suppose to
    control type characters) should be accepted without contact and POSITIVE
    support from its user community. Past attempts to do this e.g. with
    Hebrew accents have lead to serious mistakes.

    >Others, fortunately, have already addressed concerns about the
    >confidentiality issue.
    >As for the speculation that "these users have been almost unanimously
    >opposed to the proposal", I consider the remark inaccurate yet find
    >myself unable to attack your credibility in this regard.

    Well, this sounds like a careful circumlocution for an ad hominem
    attack. I suppose that if a certain person has "well-established"
    credibility, in your sight, anyone who opposes that person is not only
    lacking credibility but is not even to be counted among those who oppose
    the proposal. Of course if opponents to the proposal are not counted, it
    has unanimous support, from two people who actually know the Phoenician
    script. And I don't count people like Mike who can't even read the
    script as users of it; I don't expect them to spell well or know their
    grammar, just recognise the letters as I'm sure even Mike's school pals
    can, in Latin script, if they need to.

    On 01/06/2004 18:44, Ted Hopp wrote:

    > ...
    >This might be relevant:

    This certainly is relevant, but bear in mind that it is about a century
    old. There have been a lot more discoveries in the intervening period.

    On 30/05/2004 11:27, Christopher Fynn wrote:

    > ... (quoting ISO 15924)
    > [ 3.9 script variant
    > A particular form of one script which is so
    > distinctive a rendering as to almost be considered
    > a unique script in itself.(fr 3.9 variante d ’écriture )]

    This is what Phoenician/Palaeo-Hebrew is, in my opinion. I am glad to
    see that ISO has recognised this intermediate category, but I am sad
    that Unicode does not seem to have recognised even it existence. Does
    the ISO standard suggest how a "script variant" might be encoded?
    Separate code points? Something like variation sequences? Or only by markup?

    > With regard to historic & archaic scripts TUS itself states
    > "The overall capacity for more than a million characters is more than
    > sufficient for all known character encoding requirements, including
    > full coverage of all minority and historic scripts of the world. "
    > (1.0 )
    > and
    > "As the universal character encoding scheme, the Unicode Standard must
    > also respond to scholarly needs. To preserve world cultural heritage,
    > important archaic scripts are encoded as proposals are developed."
    > (1.1.2)

    Well, the Phoenician proposal fits with the second sentence here, but it
    seems to have totally ignored the first sentence: the scholarly needs as
    expressed by the majority of scholars of the proposed script as reported
    on this list have apparently been rejected as irrelevant. I am glad of
    this clear statement that the standard *must* respond to scholarly
    needs, and I trust that this imperative will be taken into account by
    the UTC in its discussions.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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