Re: FW: Representative glyphs for combining kannada signs

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2006 - 03:33:11 CST

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    At 18:23 -0800 2006-03-21, Mark Davis wrote:
    >Michael Everson has pointed out that a proposal to change the
    >representation of certain Myanmar characters has been submitted to
    >WG2. That proposal did not reach the UTC in time for its last

    The proposal wasn't written then. My mission to Yangon took place the
    week after the UTC. I was in Chiang Mai during the UTC working on

    >Any prospective change to the Myanmar encoding that would affect the
    >stability of the Unicode Standard must be in accord with the Unicode
    >Stability Policies, and even if in accord with those policies, must
    >be very carefully weighed in terms of its potential costs and

    The proposal requests some disunifications and some character additions.

    >Doing so requires sufficient time to make a very careful examination
    >of the issues -- not precipitous action.

    Ireland, the UK, and the Myanmar organizations who wrote the proposal
    do not propose precipitous action, but propose that the 7 characters
    be added to the current ballot as a matter of implementation urgency.
    The current encoding causes problems for representation (processing
    and rendering) which have been pointed out by the Myanmars and by SIL
    for some time now. Unicode-compliant implementations in Myanmar are
    all "experimental", with different groups trying different hacks to
    make it work. The new proposal addresses the problem by removing the
    need for hacks by simplifying and regularizing text representation
    for Burmese and for five official minority languages. The urgency
    request is to have 7 characters needed for Burmese to be added to
    PDAM3; 65 other characters for minority languages are proposed for

    The fact that no one in Myanmar has released a Unicode implementation
    is fortunate really... there really isn't all that much *Unicode*
    legacy data out there (almost all Burmese text is still represented
    in a plethora of 8-bit solutions). The Myanmars want to fast-track
    the 7 characters because they could fix their experimental
    implementations quickly and they could release Unicode
    implementations soon. If we do not meet this market need with the
    fast-track, then there is a danger that there *could* be a lot more
    legacy data that would need transcoding. Now is an excellent time to
    fix the long-existing problems with Myanmar encoding.

    Michael Everson *

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