Arabic 16-bit encodings

From: N. Ganesan (
Date: Thu Jun 30 2005 - 06:27:43 CDT

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    Gregg Reynolds ( wrote
    >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 better.

    For resources and other practical difficulties,
    I think Unicode will be the only one 16-bit
    encoding for Tamil for a long time. Haven't even
    heard of someone coming up with competition.
    But Tamil script being a script with only
    non-conjuncts (unlike eg. Devanagari or
    Tamil Grantha scripts), many 8-bit glyph based
    encodings still exist in the web. But
    they are not searcheable via Google & so on.
    So, some 500+ blogs operate exclusively
    in Unicode.

    What about Arabic script? The Middle East
    awash with funds and resources, and the script is in a
    wide area by lots of people. If
    "Unicode happens to also do serious damage
    to the entire world of right-to-left languages",
    is there a competition? Any 16-bit encodings
    for Arabic script other than Unicode?

    Will be nice to know.

    N. Ganesan

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