Re: ASCII and Unicode lifespan

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Fri May 20 2005 - 16:25:57 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: ASCII and Unicode lifespan"

    At 15:18 -0400 2005-05-20, Patrick Andries wrote:

    >>The problem with encoding Phaistos is that we just don't know
    >>enough about its repertoire and the identity of the characters to
    >>make any serious encoding, and there's very little need to do it,
    >>or at least that was the reasoning.
    >And I believe this is a very valid reasoning.

    Not really. We have a well-defined repertoire and all of the
    characters have catalogue numbers. We don't know what they *mean* but
    it is certainly unlikely that any one of them is a glyph variant of
    any other one of them.

    >How can one respect the character-glyph model, essential if we don't
    >want Unicode to be a glyph repository, and code all the signs of a
    >"script" whose characters are not known ?

    Because, Patrick, the character-glyph model is not as rigid and
    rule-bound as you would like it to be. Consider the many hundreds if
    not thousands of Han characters which are clearly duplicates,
    variants, or just plain unknown.

    >Which also tends to prove its very relative usefulness.

    Actually, a lot of ink gets spilt on the Phaistos document. It would
    do no harm to encode it and be able to interchange it. Consider all
    the texts about writing systems which mention it.

    >I don't agree with the idea that we should generously code and
    >sometimes on purpose err by excess.

    No, and that is why you and I don't get along sometimes.

    >In other words, while we know that tomes signs are dubious which
    >should code inexistent or duplicate characters just to be done with

    I don't know what a "tome sign" is but none of the Phaistos
    characters is "non-existent" or "duplicate".

    >I believe the traditional view should be respected : be prudent,
    >delay doubtful cases -- we are not in any hurry in most dubious
    >cases --, and code what can be ascertained to be a character.

    A sense of urgency for doing encoding work is afoot. Phaistos may not
    be urgent, but neither is it particularly objectionable. Its encoding
    would facilitate some minority of enthusiasts, but the Universal
    Character Set does take that community seriously.

    >As far as the numerous spurious kanjis, although their presence
    >discredits Unicode in the eyes of some uncharitable critics,

    Not mine. They may be crap, but they are important cultural crap.

    >they at least don't pollute the character-glyph model, I believe.

    Oh, they do indeed. Many of them are duplicates and variants; clear
    violations. Depending on how rigidly you understand and apply the

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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