Disunifying Danda and Double Danda in Indian scripts (Re: [indic] Re: DV Danda)

From: N. Ganesan (naa.ganesan@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Apr 04 2006 - 09:34:59 CST

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    Just found and reading the Unicode document:

    >For example, evidence for disunification would be
    >data showing that a Bengali danda usually has a different
    >shape than the Devanagari danda.

    Please see the Tamil danda and double danda. They are
    very different in shape compared to what suits for Hindi script.

    >Please accompany your feedback [...]
    >nature of your experience with Indian data processing.

    I work in Tamil books, bibliography, ancient history
    for about 30 years. Pl. check http://books.google.com
    with "ganesan tamil". Many Western university press authors
    have thanked for Tamil material I've given over the years
    to phd students & so on.

    Stylistic differences in daNDas in say, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada
    and Tamil, etc., will be helped immensely by having seprate
    daNDas for each Indian script. Note that in webpages
    and e-lists (eg. googlegroups) where multi-Indian script displays
    are necessary it's impossible to display the dandas
    correctly the way users want. And note that character names
    like "Devanagari Danda" may not be appropriate for Bengali
    daari sign.

    Giving separate daNDas to Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, etc.,
    will be in line with what is done for Tibetan, Myanmar, Khmer,
    Kharoshthi etc.,

    Now the unicode data available in Indian scripts
    (compared to other encodings) is rather small.
    So, sooner the disunification of dandas, the better it will be
    for growth of unicode in Indian scripts.

    Use of daNDa and double daNDa in Tamil script
    significantly varies in glyph shapes in representations
    of clasical poetry. Please see the examples in the pdf
    files below.

    N. Ganesan, PhD
    Houston, TX


    Omi Azad wrote
    >Now the point is Khmer has a sign called Khan (17D4),
    >which is pointed to Myanmar 104A and 104A is pointing
    >to 0964 according to UTC documentation. So if those
    >language can have separate Danda for them, what is the
    > problem with Bangla or other Indic languages?

    Azad in another mail
    > You may be happy to know one more fact that we also use Hindi Danda in our
    > language besides our Daari. We need that for writing Sanskrit Slokas. So
    > what is the solution for this? Our Daari is for our language and daily use
    > and Hindi Danda is for Sanskrit Slokas. So where to get that 2 different
    > signs from? Do you suggest to use 104A and 104B instead? :)

    Richard W. wrote:
    >That is the best argument for disunification I've seen.
    >Can anyone advise what chance that argument stands?

    I also request that disunification of dandas in the core scripts of India
    is done soon.

    This is like the Zero across all core scripts of India,
    the glyph is an import from Europe's 0.
    Now all Indian scripts have their own Zero (0),
    (remember Malayalam zero glyph was wrong,
    and only corrected few months ago in unicode.
    And, Tamil unicode very recently got the zero (0)
    glyph). The zero (0) even tho' basically of same
    shape given separate code points because
    this helps in fitting (0) glyph with the style
    and orthography of different Indian scripts.

    Another important reason is mentioned by
    Mr. Azad. Let me give a Tamil example for his

    Look at Stotra ratnam, a 14th century 'slokam
    of Sanskrit, used in daily prayers at homes
    and great Hindu temples of India.
    Devanagari version obviously has Danda
    and Double Danda as sort of I and II:

    But look at Tamil equivalents of Danda and Double Danda.
    They are sort of . and .. respectively:

    It is necessary to disunify Danda and Double Danda
    for having a web/print page using Unicode Indic font
    having say, Nagari, Tamil and Bengali scripts.
    (If Telugu or Kannada people are approached,
    i'm sure there are examples of daNDa and double daNDa
    that fits with their scripts, not those of Hindi script).

    Nowadays googegroups support Unicode quite well.
    When we want to run Indian script googlegroups
    where a Sanskrit shlokam need to be typed using
    a single Unicode font, the daNDa and double daNDa
    only in Hindi script is a major problem. Please
    disunify the dandas in Indian scripts. Bengali, Telugu,
    Tamil, ... need different daNDa and double daNDa,
    in addition in the same page users may require
    Hindi daNDa and double daNDa to show the text
    in Devanagari script. Names daNDa and duble daNDa
    should of course be retained, but each core script
    of India should have separate code points for them.

    N. Ganesan

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