RE: Unicode 5.1, Egyptian Transliteration, and Fonts

From: Saqqara (
Date: Wed Dec 05 2007 - 03:51:19 CST

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    I used a test font on Windows XP (by far the most prevalent OS, currently,
    with Egyptologists) to see if ligatures were applied by software with i/I
    and U+0486, the results were:

    WordPad - yes, Notepad - yes, Microsoft Word - yes; WordPerfect - yes;
    OpenOffice Writer 2.3 - NO.

    FireFox 2, Safari, Internet Explorer 7 - NO.

    For some reason the browsers (and OpenOffice) are not applying the ligature
    defined in the (TrueType) font and one can conjecture that this may be due
    to the Script value. Certainly until this is changed to 'Inherited' it would
    not be totally unreasonable for software authors to limit combining/ligature
    behaviour to Cyrillic.

    I hope developers of these applications subscribe to the list so perhaps we
    can be informed on the rationale behind the current situation for OpenOffice
    and the browsers.

    In any event a change looks to me like a good thing to be proposed at
    February UTC.

    Bob Richmond

    Michael Everson wrote
    At 16:24 -0800 2007-12-03, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    >Bob Richmond suggested:
    >> So unless there are any compelling reasons to do otherwise, I agree that
    >> should proceed with this convention and Unicode data files and
    >> should be adjusted accordingly.
    >> Ideally this would be incorporated in the Unicode 5.1 release, thereby
    >> completing the traditional 'Egyptian transliteration' set.
    >Such things (in this case, the suggestion that
    >U+0486 have a property change Script=Cyrillic --> Script=Inherited)
    >only happen if a specific proposal to do so is prepared
    >and tabled for the UTC, along with a request for an agenda
    >item to discuss and decide upon it.

    Is it necessary for this property change to be made for Egyptologists
    to make use of this character? If so, could you explain why?

    >Given that Unicode 5.1 is in process now (see the beta
    >review announcement on the site), there is only *one*
    >UTC meeting available where such a change could be
    >decided on -- the one at the beginning of February next
    >year -- for it to have any chance to appear in Unicode 5.1.
    >And since this is proposing a property change for an
    >existing character that has long had the property it
    >has, simply providing beta review feedback (which focusses
    >more on the properties for the newly added characters)
    >wouldn't be enough.

    The only language the character would have been used for would be Old
    Church Slavonic. Since Cyrillic also makes use of Common characters
    like U+0301 it is hard to see how changing this property would make a
    negative impact on OCS data.

    >Making suggestions on the list doesn't
    >actually accomplish any change in the standard, unless
    >it is followed up formally with the UTC.

    I have been posting this question to the Unicore list.

    Michael Everson *

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