Re: not font designers?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Sun Nov 07 2004 - 16:42:35 CST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: not font designers?"

    On 07/11/2004 09:52, Michael Everson wrote:

    > ...
    > ... 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.

    This position seems to have led to some confusion. You have indeed
    stated an intention to encode "significant nodes". But the official
    documentation, the Unicode Standard, does not say anything like this.
    Rather, it states that Unicode encodes "Characters, Not Glyphs", and
    that "Characters are the abstract representations of the smallest
    components of written language that have SEMANTIC value" (TUS section
    2.2 p.15, my emphasis on "SEMANTIC"). And, Michael, I think you have
    agreed with me, and so with many scholars of Semitic languages, that the
    distinction between corresponding Phoenician and Hebrew letters (like
    that between corresponding Devanagari and Gujarati letters) is not a
    semantic one. The conclusion we reach from reading the Standard is that
    these distinctions are glyph distinctions and so should not be encoded.

    If it is indeed the position of the UTC that corresponding characters in
    "significant node" scripts should be encoded despite the lack of
    semantic distinctiveness, I would like to suggest an amendment to the
    standard to make this principle clear. This would of course have to be
    agreed with WG2. Until such an amendment has been put in place, there
    will continue to be opposition to encoding of any new scripts which do
    not show clear semantic distinctiveness and so appear to be in breach of
    the principles of the Standard.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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