Re: Tifinagh - extension for complete common Berber alphabet isomorphic with Latin

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Mon Feb 15 2010 - 05:16:16 CST

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: Tifinagh - extension for complete common Berber alphabet isomorphic with Latin"

    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
    > encoding.
    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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