Re: Unicode & Shorthand?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Sep 20 2004 - 15:39:49 CDT

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    Michael Everson responded to Christopher Fynn's question:

    > At 13:46 +0100 2004-09-19, Christopher Fynn wrote:
    > >So, am I right in assuming that were someone put together a decent
    > >proposal for one or more shorthand scripts, there is no particular
    > >reason in principle why it would be rejected?
    > You are right.

    There is also no particular reason why it would be accepted.
    For any such proposal there needs to be a case made for why
    the shorthand should be encoded as Unicode characters.

    If there is a decent case that data needs to be interchanged
    in one shorthand or another using plain text Unicode characters,
    embedded with other Unicode text data, then an encoding would
    be plausible.

    However, the mere existence of a written form used to convey
    textual data does not suffice to make it a good candidate for
    encoding in terms of Unicode characters directly.

    On the one hand, it may be that data (including that in the
    machines used for shorthand recording) may be conveyed
    by preexisting intermediate "encoded" representations, which
    could be conveyed by existing encoded Unicode characters --
    for example if they consist of conversion to streams of
    letters or digits (or other arbitrary encodings).

    On the other hand, representation of shorthand data directly
    may be too far out of the realm of what can be conveyed
    by a plain text rendering system. The analogy may be to
    the issue represented by musical scoring. If so, then
    an appropriate need might be demonstrated for a basic
    set of underlying symbols used *by* a shorthand system,
    on the assumption that higher level protocols and a dedicated
    rendering system would be required for full interpretation
    and display. However, before any *Unicode* encoding of such
    symbols would be undertaken, a case would be need to be
    made by somebody with an interest in such systems that
    having a standardized Unicode encoding of the elements
    of such a system would be useful and required.

    In any case, I consider Unicode encoding of shorthands to
    be a very low priority, compared to the effort needed
    for some well-known minority and historic scripts which
    are still unencoded.

    For whoever said that shorthands weren't roadmapped, that
    isn't completely correct. There is no specific allocation
    for Gregg or Pitman or any other particular system, but
    11E00..11FFF is currently blocked out for shorthands, simply
    as a placeholder to indicate that we know such systems
    exist and that somebody might bring forth a proposal and
    that if successful, such a proposal would require some
    codespace allocation.


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