Semitic scripts and script variants, was: Updated Phoenician proposal: confidential?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 07:14:38 CDT

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    On 02/06/2004 14:28, Rick McGowan wrote:

    > Peter Kirk wrote..
    > > > You, Rick, also replied on 22 December 2003 to the same posting
    > > > of mine, so you can't claim to be ignorant of this discussion.
    > > > You wrote:
    > >
    > >You can't just "call for a review" and expect anything to happen.
    > >Please dcument your opinions and document some facts. If you have
    > >a different model of Aramaic, Phoenician, and related scripts,...
    > Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that earlier discussion. You called for a
    > review, but you never submitted any model document to UTC.

    Indeed, and I didn't proceed partly because at that time Michael assured
    us all that there was no work in progress on any of these scripts, and
    so that the timing was not right. Then just four months later he
    produced a proposal. Well, he has the right to change his mind, and I am
    glad that he did inform this list about the proposal. Michael asked me
    then "Please do not force us to undertake this review NOW", and I agreed
    not to. But maybe the time for this is now right.

    Anyway, as a very quick summary my alternative model of these scripts
    would be similar to that just mentioned again by John Hudson, a "single
    'Ancient Near-Eastern 22-letter Alphabet'" encoded as a single Unicode
    script, divided up into a potentially open-ended set of script variants
    (as defined in ISO 15924). I accept that there are some people who might
    have a genuine need to make plain text distinctions between these script
    variants, and so some mechanism should be defined for allowing this.

    My first thought is that a variant script selector might be defined,
    which applies until cancelled or overridden, on the analogy of
    RLO...PDF. But I guess others will object to this. Does anyone have any
    other suggestions for how Unicode can support script variants, apart
    from encoding them as completely separate scripts?

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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