Encoding of script variants, was: Semitic scripts and script variants

From: Peter Kirk (peterkirk@qaya.org)
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 12:30:50 CDT

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    On 03/06/2004 09:57, Asmus Freytag wrote:

    > At 05:14 AM 6/3/2004, Peter Kirk wrote:
    >> 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?
    > Stateful controls do not belong in plain text. There are very few
    > exceptions to that general rule, but variant indication is definitely
    > not one of them.
    > I think it's up to you to develop a workable alternative to parallel
    > coding, if you think that would be preferable.

    Well, I have suggested several alternatives, only to have them all
    shouted down by Michael and rejected by Ken. Ken (but not Michael) did
    accept the principle of interleaved collation, but that is not an
    alternative to parallel coding of script variants although it could be a
    solution for Phoenician. So perhaps someone else can suggest an
    acceptable alternative, for the very real need (if not for Phoenician,
    for some other cases) of encoding script variants, as defined in
    http://www.unicode.org/iso15924/standard/index.html#terms. I note from
    section 4.2 of this draft that:

    > Identification of such script variants, while outside the scope of
    > ISO/IEC 10646, is relevant to the content of script codes.

    Does this imply that script variants should not be identified in Unicode
    plain text? That has implications for proposals for new scripts.

    > As the discussion has gone on for a long time on the list and has
    > involved only a small number of participants, I suggest that you
    > contact the interested parties offline.

    There are two good reasons for keeping this on the list:

    1) This is a new topic, encoding of script variants, which has not been
    discussed except as part of the otherwise controversial Phoenician
    proposal. I don't even know who is interested in this more general
    issue. It probably isn't the same people as are interested in Phoenician.

    2) A few of us could easily spend a lot of time coming up with what
    looks to us like a sensible proposal only to have it stamped on as
    thoroughly as you have just stamped on my latest suggestion.

    Peter Kirk
    peter@qaya.org (personal)
    peterkirk@qaya.org (work)

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