From: Andrew West (
Date: Wed Oct 19 2005 - 05:49:21 CST

  • Next message: Andrew West: "Re: Lao Letter Fo Sung and Lao Letter Fo Tam"

    On 18/10/05, Asmus Freytag <> wrote:
    > However, the generic issue you raise has been considered by the UTC. The
    > preferred solution is to create formal aliases for defective names. That
    > means you would have two alternate names to refer to a character, with
    > both being guaranteed stability and uniqueness, but with the advantage
    > that no-one would be forced to use a misspelled word in a character name
    > forever.

    This is the first I have heard of formal aliases for defective
    character names. I think that this is a much more sensible solution to
    the problem than the previously mooted suggestions of having localised
    character name lists. I would agree that formal aliases should be
    restricted to the few cases of clerical error such as spelling
    mistakes and swapped names, and not applied to characters where there
    is academic dispute as to what the best name or transliteration for
    the name of a character is.

    > The situation with 'swapped' names is more tricky, as it is not possible
    > to simply alias the 'correct' name. That would lead to non-uniqueness.
    > However, often another set of equally descriptive, but correctly
    > assigned aliases can be found.

    For example (assuming the appropriate evidence is adduced);

    U+0E9D : LAO LETTER FO TAM = LAO LETTER FO LOW TONE (annotation = "The
    Lao name is fo sung")
    "The Lao name is fo tam")

    > For user interfaces, additional copy editing on the names would be
    > appropriate, so that they better match the expectations of a given user
    > community (cf. SOLIDUS vs. 'paragraph sign').

    If a user interface were to display the formal character name, its
    formal alias, its Unicode 1.0 name and the informal aliases listed in
    NamesList.txt then it should be sufficient for almost 30% of Unicode
    characters. For the other 70% I suggest providing the pronunciation of
    the character in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese (On and Kun readings),
    Korean, Vietnamese and reconstructed ancient Chinese (as appropriate),
    together with the radical/stroke count and English definition --
    shouldn't be too much of a burden on anyone.

    Incidentally the context of the original error report on the Lao
    character names was that the UI in the French version of BabelMap
    displayed the "wrong" names (from a user perspective) for the
    characters. Formal aliases would help alleviate this sort of problem.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Oct 19 2005 - 05:50:30 CST