Re: Encoded rendering instructions (was Unicode's Mandate)

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Thu Mar 10 2005 - 12:36:52 CST

  • Next message: Marion Gunn: "Re: Encoded rendering instructions (was Unicode's Mandate)"

    Gregg Reynolds wrote at 11:29 AM on Thursday, March 10, 2005:

    >But you aren't encoding text, you're encoding a description of a
    >physical artifact. I personally don't see the harm in what you propose,
    >but transcribing "text" (whatever that means) and encoding information
    >about the medium in which the original message is inscribed are
    >different things.

    If I understand you correctly, you seem to be focusing on damage
    indicators as descriptors of physical damage to a given document's medium
    - paper, stone, clay, etc. That's an interesting point of view.

    I am thinking of them primarily as descriptors of damage to the actual
    glyphs, e.g., the loss or obscuring of ink, which therefore represents
    portions of actual text that is not visible, i.e., a damaged glyph could
    be caused by loss or effacement of the text medium (a hole in the
    parchment) or it could be caused by obscuring agents (spilled ink).

    Of course, the separation between text and medium gets fuzzier when we
    talk about stone inscriptions or cuneiform tablets. Here the text is
    represented by physical deformation of the medium itself, and so damaged
    glyphs are by definition damaged medium.

    Just for fun, I've attached a small image of a 7th century BC cuneiform
    document fragment that exhibits both damaged impressed wedges and damaged
    ink "wedges" on the same medium - a clay tablet. This image nicely
    illustrates in the same document both 2D and 3D fragmentary characters,
    something one meets with everywhere in ancient documents.


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Mar 10 2005 - 12:44:46 CST