Re: script complexity, was Re: OpenType vs TrueType

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Dec 04 2004 - 22:36:44 CST

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    Richard Cook <rscook at socrates dot berkeley dot edu> wrote:

    > Script complexity is not so easily quantified. Has anyone tried to
    > sort scripts by complexity? In terms of the present discussion, Han
    > would be viewed as a simple script, and yet it is "simple" only in
    > terms of the script model in which ideographs are the smallest unit.
    > In a stroke-based Han script model, Han is at least as complex as any.

    One interesting exercise, for someone with enough spare time, is to look
    through the invented scripts in the ConScript Unicode Registry [1] and
    on Simon Ager's "Omniglot" site [2, 3] and see how many would qualify as
    "complex" scripts if encoded in Unicode. Actually quite a few of them
    are, some because of contextual forms and others because of complex
    positioning behavior.

    It might be interesting to ponder how many of these scripts were
    intentionally made complex, by inventors who understand the concept of
    "complex scripts" and knew what they were doing. Again, for someone
    with plenty of pondering time.


    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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