Re: Grumping about Greek (was: Re: UTF-8 can be used for more ... )

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Jun 09 2006 - 23:09:28 CDT

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    From: "Kenneth Whistler" <>
    >> So may be the best solution is to ...
    > The best solution is to stop expecting out-of-the-box
    > casing implementations to do a hunky-dory, perfect, nobody-
    > could-complain-about-anything job of casing and folding
    > for modern *and* ancient Greek, monotonic *and* polytonic,
    > precomposed *and* decomposed, based on a cobbled together
    > mixed-up encoding of Greek that was not engineered in the
    > first place to facilitate casing operations on Greek.
    > (...)
    > *grump* *grump* *grump*

    I was not expecting that. It was not required to start "grumping", whatever it means...

    What i wrote was much more positive, and I said that the reply from Richard Wordhingham was very worth reading, as it contained things that I did not read before in the Unicode standard or in the past discussions I could read on this list.

    The case of the iota subscript transformed without care into a plain iota is really interesting to consider according to Richard's comments about the interaction with other combining accents, and the effective logical ordering which may be lost if the combining subscript becomes a plain letter.

    So I was simply commenting about the validity of any transformation from a combining iota subscript into a plain iota, which now looks like a dangerous thing to do without special care, and shouldbe done only in specific contexts, such as the transcription from the Ancient Greek to Modern Greek (but if the conversion includes the transformation from polytonic to monotonic, then making all iotas plain letters still seems harmless).

    I am just wondering now if there are Greek orthographies where the iota subscript becomes a plain iota but that keeps the polytonic accents? I have the (possibly wrong) feeling that this should not exist (or is an error). Please confirm. If so, we don't need casing rules in Unicode that transform iota subscripts to plain iotas, as this should be locale-specific or author-specific transcription choices.

    Well, I am in fact much less negative than you about the behavior of Greek orthographies in Unicode. Beside the case of the iota subscript, there's not much complexity (not even for the case of the final sigma which is not so much complex, and has no impact on the normalization algorithm).

    Grumbling... ;-] Grmbbll... Grmmmmmblll... (French translation: je "gromèle" tout seul, là!)


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