Re: The Phaistos Disc

From: Richard Wordingham (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2006 - 18:53:09 CST

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    Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    >> Well, the implementations is (as far as I can tell), not quite
    >> automatic...
    > Correct.

    So where is the non-automatic part? I haven't noticed any mirroring
    features in OpenType lay-out.

    >> Anyhow, the number of bidi mirrored characters
    >> is to be greatly reduced (IIUC).
    > Actually, no. See:


    > The total number is up slightly (537) from Unicode 4.1 (507).

    Moreover, while I haven't bothered to found out which are new, they don't
    all have mirror glyph characters, e.g. U+2246.

    >> Also, when Greek (for instance) is written in the ancient
    >> boustrophedon way, the glyphs are mirrored on every second
    >> line of a paragraph (if not the whole text, I'm not sure). Yet,
    >> Greek letters are not given the bidi-mirrored property.
    > Correct. And likewise there is no need to give Phaistos Disc
    > symbols Bidi_Mirrored=Y.

    But the situations are not the same. Modern Greek has inherent
    directionality - is it used in modern Arabic mathematics? If the Phaistos
    disk characters had inherent directionality, it would be right-to-left.
    Would it be better to encode two sets - left-to-right and right-to-left?
    (This would make a mess of searching for substrings, and, far more
    importantly, would be a very bad precedent for hieroglyphics.)

    As for boustrophedon, Unicode support is very poor. You would also have to
    do your own line-breaking.


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