From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Feb 15 2010 - 05:16:16 CST
On 2/14/2010 6:14 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> <p underscore j underscore anderson at volny dot cz> wrote:
>> What is needed as extra in Unicode is 2 Tifinagh letters for normal
>> text, and 1 more arguable letter for phonetic dialect writing.
> Unicode encodes letters and other symbols that are already in
> reasonably widespread use, or have evidence of significant historical
> use. If your letters are only a proposal, and have not actually been
> adopted by anyone, it is highly unlikely they will be considered for
On the contrary, Unicode has, on occasion, deliberately encoded
characters for which there was credible evidence of planned widespread
future use. These cases are always difficult to decide. On the one hand,
you don't want to create insurmountable obstacles to creating new or
extending existing orthographies. On the other hand, you definitely
don't want to end up with "orphaned" characters.
The best course of action would be to submit a "preliminary proposal" to
the UTC with the following request: To provide guidance on how the
extension to the orthography can best be implemented.
Unless there's significant acceptance and readiness in the target
population towards such an extension, it is premature to immediately
request character codes. On the other hand, now that Unicode-based tools
and applications have become widespread and are often the only tools
used in creating written materials (other than informal, handwritten
documents), it is imperative for the UTC to re-think how any orthography
can be extended without undue burdens.
The orthodox answer used to be the pointer to the PUA for novel
characters. However, using the private use area for publication and
extensive document creation has its own problems. PUA characters are
problematic in interchange, and, once supplemented by "real" characters
become orphaned in their own right, potentially stranding a large body
of already encoded text. In my view, these problems render the PUA and
with it the orthodox approach to orthography extensions rather problematic.
Because of that, both the UTC and WG2 have approved characters ahead of
actual use - but in circumstances where one could be reasonably sure
that the characters would in fact become used upon addition to the
standard. (All of us know at least one example of such characters).
In any case, I think it would be useful for the UTC to deal with this
issue on the basis of a preliminary proposal which would allow it to
discuss various alternatives. I would encourage the author to submit
such a document to the UTC.
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