Re: Malayalam vowel sign AU

From: James Kass (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2006 - 00:28:19 CST

  • Next message: James Kass: "Re: Malayalam vowel sign AU"

    Kent Karlsson wrote,

    >> > If it is Unicode's official position that traditional Malayalam
    >> > use U+0D4C and that reformed Malayalam must use U+0D57,
    > That would be it. And it's so obvious that that is how it must work
    > that I worry that if you (James) have such a hard time with it, how
    > many other more subtle issues in Unicode you've gotten all wrong.

    That which is obvious depends upon the point of view.

    Consider how someone who is "outside-looking-in" would regard
    the problems associated with the Latin two-contour vowel sign

    Suppose there was a standards body in Kerala responsible
    for making a universal character set.

    Obviously, for casing pairs U+0130 would have to be the upper case
    form for LATIN SMALL LETTER I.

    If there were alternative orthographies for the Latin script, like
    roman or uncial for writing one Latin user community's language,
    and one form used the two-contour vowel sign in lower case (U+0069)
    while the other form used a one-contour glyph variant (U+0131), then
    those favoring the one-contour glyph variant would be forced to
    use U+0131 even if they considered U+0069 and U+0131 to be
    semantically equivalent and representative of the same atomic
    character. If this should break their existing implementations,
    well, that would be too bad. If the government of that user
    community were faced with transcoding existing material and
    maintaining doubled files for everything, I'm sure that they'd
    all jump at the chance to do so rather than risk being called

    Now, in some cases that Latin two-contour vowel sign must lose
    one contour. An example is when the two-contour vowel sign is
    followed by an above-combining mark. The obvious solution is
    to require that U+0305 be used in these situations rather than

    Of course, if the standards body were faced with a similar problem
    for the script used in Kerala, the script with which they are most
    familiar, they'd probably come up with something like a "soft
    left-hand side" property for their two-part vowel. It may not
    occur to that standards body that an approach similar to their
    "soft left-hand side" property could be applied to the pesky little
    dot on that Latin letter.

    > I agree. And I'm getting rather tired of beating this particular
    > dead horse, despite James's opposition.

    Any list member should be able to request a post-mortem in the
    event of an unexpected or unexplained death, and should be able
    to do so without being slammed, shouted at, or trivialized.

    > I leave it to the UTC
    > to make a more official statement on the issue if they so desire
    > (and to a certain company to correct its software, incl. fonts,
    > specs, and FAQs).
    There are no OpenType specifications for Malayalam linked in
    Microsoft's Indic script specification section.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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