Re: not font designers?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun Nov 07 2004 - 03:52:19 CST

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    At 20:29 -0800 2004-11-06, Doug Ewell wrote:
    >E. Keown <k underscore isoetc at yahoo dot com> wrote:
    >> Supposedly this list has >600 people.
    > > Just of curiosity, how many of you are NOT font designers?
    >Maybe I'm being a bit cynical (the election wasn't that long ago, after
    >all), but I have to wonder what the motivation is for asking this

    Alas, it's about me, Doug. The reason, as far as I can see, is that
    Ms Keown has taken it into her head that I (for instance) who am not
    a Semiticist, am nothing more than a font designer, and that my
    ability to design fonts is the only reason I believe that the
    Phoenician script (and the family of related scripts unified with it)
    is a different script from Square Hebrew.

    This is, of course, not true. While I do design fonts, my expertise
    is in the analysis and encoding of writing systems. Many other
    experts in writing systems also participate in this work and on this

    It has been explained to Ms Keown that the Universal Character Set,
    being universal, must meet the needs of a wide range of users, and
    that a unification of Phoenician with Square Hebrew would not meet
    such needs. I have, many times, tried to explain on this forum that
    we are using a historical taxonomy of writing systems, and intend to
    encode what I call "significant nodes" of the script-tree. The
    roadmap tends to reflect this. We do not have a thesis prepared which
    will answer every question anyone might have, but the proposal and
    documents for Phoenician in particular show clearly the reasons why
    it is not unified with Hebrew.

    Ms Keown wants to try to continue to fight against the encoding of
    Phoenician, and for some reason she believes that knowing whether or
    not "font designers" support its encoding will assist her.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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