[Fwd: Re: A Tamil-Roman transliterator (Unicode)]

From: Gregg Reynolds (unicode@arabink.com)
Date: Tue Jun 28 2005 - 17:03:51 CDT

  • Next message: Gregg Reynolds: "Re: [Fwd: Re: A Tamil-Roman transliterator (Unicode)]]"

    you'd think I would learn...

    attached mail follows:

    Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:
    > Numbered consonants encode individual and complex combinations of
    > aspirations.
    > Aytham, as in Grammar, already do this with clarity, simplicity, and
    > legitimacy.
    > 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
    then, compete!

    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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