From: Gregg Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 17:03:51 CDT
you'd think I would learn...
attached mail follows:
Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:
> Numbered consonants encode individual and complex combinations of
> Aytham, as in Grammar, already do this with clarity, simplicity, and
> Numbered consonant is an illegal method, encoded by Unicode with no
> concern for any proper study.
> Current numbered consonant is full of flaws.
> Please looking at deprecating numbered consonants.
> Every Tom Dick and Harry can not messup Tamil. Unicode should not
> legitimise this illegal intrusion.
Dear Sinnathurai Srivas,
I have a simple suggestion for you: ignore Unicode. If you don't like,
it, nothing is stopping you from designing your own encoding for Tamil,
or any other language you like. I am not making a joke; I've done this
for Arabic. Remember, Unicode is an encoding *for interchange*. No law
says you have to use it as the internal encoding for the software you
write. All you need is an import/export filter. Contrary to what you
seem to believe, Unicode is not the end of the world. History is full
of 1000 year reichs that expire after few decades or so. Remember the
Soviet Union? I will be very suprised if Unicode does not evolve
substantially over the next decade or so. It is not all that difficult
to imagine Unicode being replaced entirely, if not as a global character
set, then at least in various localities.
Remember Unicode serves the interests of its members (mainly the
computer industry), even if others benefit. If the Tamil community (or
any other community) decides Unicode doesn't serve its interests - well
Indeed one of the very regrettable things about Unicode is no fault of
Unicode at all: that is, that implementors often seem to take Unicode as
a guide to language. That is not Unicode's intention at all, as I
understand it, yet it is easy to see why this happens: it tends to be
the only place on the web to get (semi-) reliable information.
You are not alone in thinking Unicode does not serve your language
community, but don't forget it was never Unicode's intention to serve
language communities. It's just a character encoding, not a language
encoding. Unicode happens to also do serious damage to the entire world
of right-to-left languages such as Arabic (IMO), but it had no choice,
given that it was constrained to adopt legacy encodings. No point in
whining about that. And it is probably better than what we had before.
Still, it is up to than language community to decide to do something
There's also no point is asking Unicode to act contrary to its own
design principles. If you don't like those principles, well then,
design your own. You should be talking to the Tamil community, not Unicode.
So instead of ranting about plots and conspiracies, why don't you try
something constructive? Design a Tamil encoding from scratch, with no
regard at all for legacy encodings, for the sole purpose of serving the
Tamil-speaking community. Then hack up some open-source software to
work with your design. Then you can find out if anybody really wants to
use it. If they do, then you can come back to Unicode and make an
argument based on facts on the ground, instead of political begging.
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