From: Peter Constable (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Dec 06 2004 - 11:41:04 CST
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Behalf Of Dean Snyder
> >I would say that pointing
> >one text with the vowels of another, without regard for discrepencies
> >character-count, constitutes an abuse of the Hebrew orthography, and
> >shouldn't be considered "normal" usage that must be supported.
> Calling ketiv/qere spellings orthographic abuse, abnormal, and not
> of support in Unicode is based on reasoning backwards from the faulty
> Unicode model for encoded Hebrew, rather than forwards from the Hebrew
> script to an encoding model.
I'd agree, except that I wouldn't give a blanket characterization of the
Unicode encoding for Hebrew as being faulty.
There is a natural tendency for people familiar with a particular
language and its associated script to view encoding requirements as tied
to that language. I really think then when we devise encodings (and, to
some extent, rendering implementations -- I mention that since that's
something I work on) we need to abstract the script away from a
particular language. The reason for this is that the way the script is
used to write a particular language at a particular point in time is a
snapshot of one particular usage. Writing changes with time, and there
is a tendency for scripts to be adopted for use by other languages.
I also think we need to view encoding as a representation of text
elements, whatever the linguistic interpretation (or non-interpretation)
of those text elements. Thus, I agree with Dean:
> From an encoding point of view, ketiv/qere is NOTHING MORE than
> sequences of Hebrew vowels and consonants, and just as Unicode
> ANY sequence of Latin vowels and consonants it should have, from the
> beginning, supported ANY sequence of Hebrew vowels and consonants.
except that where he says "it should have" I'd say that I've always
assumed that it does.
> problem lies not in the script, the problem lies in the inadequate
> encoding model adopted for it - and it needs to be fixed. ALL of the
> Hebrew script must be supported; anything less is simply unacceptable.
At this point, I would ask that people move from voicing critiques and
stating inadequacy to making concrete proposals that identify precisely
what is inadequate and precisely how that can be remedied.
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