RE: Character found in national standard not defined in Unicode?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Apr 25 2008 - 16:44:53 CDT

  • Next message: David Starner: "Re: Character found in national standard not defined in Unicode?"

    Asmus Freytag wrote:
    > If the character doesn't violate a principle in the standard,
    > there's no reason why it couldn't be encoded; however, if its
    > presence in the standard is not correlated with it showing up
    > in actual documents (for example, because of the way systems
    > and fonts have implemented the standard) then there's perhaps
    > no need to encode the character based on its presence in a code chart.
    > On the other hand, perhaps the standard did base the design
    > on a real character. If sufficient information can be
    > assembled to define that character, it would open up an
    > avenue to encode it, which would be independent of the character.
    > >> > (I indeed did not find the character in the Armenian
    > block, but it
    > >> > could hide somewhere among the dingbats (but if so without an
    > >> > annotation saying "eternity sign")).
    > >>
    > >
    > > There isn't an exact match, but something in the U+274x range can
    > > serve as a good approximation.
    > If the standard is in use and if there's an indication that
    > people are using this particular character, then the last
    > thing we would want to do is to map it "approximately",
    > especially not to something in the 274X range. That range, by
    > design, was supposed to have somewhat lesser variability in
    > glyph design than other blocks. But even without the special
    > nature of this range, the damage of having mapped characters
    > "approximately" (esp. ASCII characters) is still with us today.

    The existence of the Armenian standard is proven, however that AST 34
    standard was published several years *after* the initial encoding of the
    Armenian script in Unicode 1.1 (the encoding was done acording to ISO 10585,
    not to ArmSCII that is the result of adding more modifier letters needed in

    There are discussions found in the WG2 archives related to the AST 34
    proposed updates. Some updates have been done in the mapping from ISO 10585,
    and some other Armenian punctuation (encoded as modifier letters in
    Unicode/ISO/IEC 10646) are present since Unicode 1.1 but were not even
    encoded in AST 34 (which is the standardized revision of the informal
    ArmSCII standard).

    The only change that occured in Unicode was the addition of a compatibility
    ligature for the Armenian ''ew'', in Unicode 3.0 (long after AST 34:1997),
    but the ArmSCII eternity symbol was really forgotten, despite of the
    comments sent officially by the Armenian standard authority to the ISO

    > If this thing is real and someone can prove it, code it, if
    > not, wait for users of the standard to speak up that they
    > need it for compatibility.

    There's an unterminated track in the WG2 proposal made by AST (no action
    occured later). I think this was forgotten, or went too late for a given
    meeting, but this discussion was never rescheduled (possibly the AST forgot
    to request it again).

    AST made the AST 34 standard as a way to solve problems in ISO 10585
    (notably for a dozen of missing characters: all of them were encoded, some
    characters were kept unified like the articifial distinction of Armenian
    apostrophe letter modifiers by letter case, not needed for correct
    rendering). I've also seen discussions related to the mapping of ArmSCII
    7/8/8A to Unicode (replacing some old mappings to the ASCII range for some

    Anyway, my comment about the Armenian Eternity symbol which is very near of
    the Georgian Borjgali symbol remains valid: it seems that effectively the
    two are distinct (7 wings rotating clock wise for Georgian Borjgali symbol,
    but 7 winds rotating counter-clockwise for Armenian Eternity symbol) despite
    they most probably refer to the same symbolism with religious iconography,
    and both symbols seem strongly linked to national emblems (against the
    Persian, Ottoman and tsarist Russian empires).

    One symbol is linked to Catholic church in Armenia (with Byzantine rite),
    the other symbol is linked to the Autocephalous Church of Georgia (with
    Orthodox rite), but both churches are very near from each other (and both
    churhes have now branches using either rite, they differ principaly in their
    hierarchy and if they do or don't recognize the supreme authority of the
    Roman Pope, despite both the Georgian and Armenian churches have large
    authonomy), but these symbols don't seem to be showing this division against
    them but rather their common need to preserve their identity within the
    dominant cultural influence of the three historic empires that have occupied
    both countries, largely modified their borders and moved their population.

    They are both representing the Sun as the light of God, they are both
    associated to eternity, and used to exhibit the survival of their national
    culture; both symbols exist since many centuries and largely present in the
    religious iconography.

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