Re: Malayalam Zero - an error

From: N. Ganesan (
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 14:42:11 CST

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    Philippe Verdy wrote:
    >I rechecked the ISCII standard for Malalayam,

    The URLs you have given, are not ISCII at all. They are actually
    Unicode proposals, and so they refer to what is in Unicode, and not
    ISCII, code chart.

    In fact, Unicode 4.1 does not follow ISCII-1991. ISCII-1988 is what is
    followed in Unicode 1.0
    from which Unicode has changed much as far as Indic scripts are
    concerned. See Antoine Leca's earlier message explaining that the bug
    in the glyph, U+0D66 has nothing to do with ISCII.
    [Begin quote]
    Philippe Verdy wrote:
    > If there's such an error, then the error comes from ISCII.

    I guess not.
    AFAIK, ISCII does not show, much less prescribe, the shape
    for the script variants of the digits. Only the traditional
     forms for Devanagari are showed.
    [End quote]

    > If there's such an error, then the error comes from ISCII

    Not really.

    >and particularly its document
    >that tracks the proposed changes in Unicode related to this script:

    Good that Tamil, closely allied script to Malayalam is mentioned. Even
    tho' the proposed changes document does not show Tamil digit zero, it
    neatly shows up as U+0BE6 in unicode 4.1. Similarly to fix the bug in
    the U+0D66, Unicode needs to use a glyph similar to, say, tamil or
    kannada or telugu digit zero.

    Tried to read this URL

    Because the name of the concerned language itself is in error,
    correcting it to the real language, Malayalam shows the Unicode code

    >See that ISCII did not include any position for
    >Tamil zero digit. So there's no error for Tamil,
    >but ISCII really includes the one half glyph for
    >inexistant Malayalam digit zero...

    According to Leca's message, ISCII does not prescribe the glyph for
    neither Malayalam nor Tamil. Then, error in U+D066 is due to Unicode
    code chart.

    The simplest way to solve this problem is to change the representative
    glyph for Zero digit in U+0D66 in accord with digit zero all Indian
    languages including Malayalam printed books.

    I'm afraid that the transitional period of using what is 0.5 as zero
    (0) in Malayalam
    publications have in all likelihood, never existed. This is due to the
    strentgth of native Malayalam mathematics, see Kerala mathematicians'
    Eg., Gregorys' series is now Madhava-Gregory series because Madhava
    was the first to formulate the series solution few centuries earlier.

    N. Ganesan

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