From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 14:35:32 CDT
From: "Abhijit Dutta अभिजीत दत्ता" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> The Ministry of information technology, Govt., of India is
> distributing free CDs with a lot of Tamil software. The CD has
> about 50 fonts which uses the alternative scheme. It is proposed
> to talk to the developers of the Tamil Open Office to use the font
> with the alternate scheme. A representation will be sent to major
> software vendors incuding Microsoft to use the new scheme. All
> members of KTS have agreed to use the new scheme in their software."
How can all software vendors agree to use the PUA scheme? If it was so, then
this PUA block would become permanently bound to the "New Tamil" encoding
scheme, meaning that the purpose of PUAs would be defeated. Using the PUAs
not only requires an agreement with the software vendor, but also with the
effective users of this scheme.
Nevertheless, I approve such initiative when it helps creating a stable
model for representing Modern Tamil. But this won't have any success if the
PUA scheme is not also strictly bound to standard Unicode/ISO 10646-1 code
points, using an unambiguous mapping that will work bijectively at least for
the subset of Modern Tamil texts representable with this PUA scheme; with
that mapping, it will in fact be easier to interchange the represented
texts, by remapping the PUA-encoded texts to standard Unicode, so that PUA
agreements will no more be needed.
Such scheme will also help fixing the various fonts so that they will
support correctly at least the subset of texts representable with the "New
Tamil" PUA scheme. But this does not require that fonts be prepared to
support these PUAs. I think it will be much more productive to create
OpenType fonts using the standard Unicode codepoints, and a well-defined set
of GSUB/GPOS tables. This way, these fonts will be also usable
Such encoding scheme can then be viewed as a way to certify a minimum
Level-1 compatibility requirement for Tamil fonts. Note that the encoding
scheme could be even more easily fixed if the Tamil State government and Sri
Lanka agreed to define an effective TSCII standard, which would reproduce
the unambiguous mapping to the standard Unicode code points, as well as the
unambiguous collation order, easily implemented with such simplified scheme.
For now, you can't say that TSCII is not a standard, as it has too many
unstable variants, and it is not approved at least by a national standard
authority, and implemented effectively by major software vendors (a step
required before going to an internationaly accepted standard like GB18030 or
ISO 8859); I better see TSCII as an attempt to create a stable processing
*model*, rather than an effective encoding.
More generally, a charset registered by a national standard authority in the
IANA charsets registry would work more successfully and more reliably than a
system based on private agreements on PUAs (simply because charsets can be
easily transported in MIME, unlike PUA agreements), and also because the
solutions to support other charsets than UTF's already exists and well
implemented an deployed, and also because charsets work reliably with
Unicode/ISO 10646 as well.
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