RE: Allocation of Georgian letters

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Feb 07 2008 - 07:08:45 CST

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    Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > The allocation has the rather practical implication that each Georgian
    > letter requires three octets in the UTF-8 encoding, as opposite to two
    > octets (for characters allocated in the range U+0080..U+07FF).

    Is that really important for use on the Internet?
    May be there are implications for things like SMS on basic mobile phones,
    but I don't see why you should be restricted, to use, in Georgia, only ASCII
    or UTF-8. Nothing prevents in fact a Georgian mobile phone operator to team
    with mobile phone manufacturers in order to support an 8-bit encoding that
    would become a defacto standard, recognized and accepted in Georgia in
    addition to the Cyrillic script.

    This won't reduce the possibility of maintaining interoperability with
    Unicode, provided that at the same time a precise mapping of codes is
    published. Choose your encoding as you want, what is important is not much
    the codes where Georgian letters were allocated (and later extended), but
    what users will want in their SMS, where the effective encoding usd on the
    network does not matter much (given that they will use it directly on their
    mobile phone, without having to convert it to other encodings for use in
    their computer).

    And they will also be able to send the same SMS using UTF-8 from any PC to
    any Georgian mobile phone user: it's up to the operator to provide the
    gateway featuring the code converter, and already up to him to accept
    several other encoding schemes for Unicode and Georgian from their users
    using web browsers to use their web mail interface to send/receive SMS
    messages as they want.

    I don't believe there's a need to implicate the Unicode consortium or ISO to
    create such dedicated encoding schemes if it is really desired and justified
    by cost or technical limitations (such as the maximum size of SMS messages).
    Really the main question is not the encoding itself but if there exists a
    market for messaging in Georgian on the mobile phone, and what is required
    to get mobile phones at the same prices as existing ones and featuring the
    support for Georgian script(s). [Note the optional plural: I'm note sure you
    need support for all Georgian scripts on mobile phones].

    Anyway, it will be really technically simpler to support Georgian than many
    of the Indian scripts that still don't have good support in India, despite
    of the existence of ISCII (poor or wrong rendering of grapheme clusters, and
    more difficulties to compose messages correctly on a 10-digits keyboard).

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