Re: Vertical writing

From: Ken Whistler (
Date: Wed May 18 2011 - 12:38:54 CDT

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    On 5/17/2011 11:37 PM, fantasai wrote:
    > On this topic, I've been wondering, how come the ideographic description
    > characters aren't used to set Egyptian hieroglyphic? They seem at least
    > as powerful as the MdC notation described in Unicode section 14.18.

    Several reasons, I think.

    1. IDC's aren't isomorphic with the MdC notation, and are unfamiliar to
    who would be using it for hieroglyphics.

    2. Ideographic Description Sequences, by *definition* are constrained
    to sequences involving CJK radicals and CJK unified ideographs. There
    is talk of loosening up that definition slightly to let them be used for
    clearly siniform scripts such as Tangut and Jurchen, but conceptually the
    structural assumptions made by the IDC's don't apply very well or very
    generically to glyph description outside of siniform scripts.

    3. MdC is conceived of as markup for layout, rather than glyph description
    per se. As a result, the chunks described by MdC have variable sizes and
    are not constrained the same way as IDS's. An IDS always describes one
    and exactly one CJK ideograph. And IDS's are *not* markup for layout;
    there is no expectation that a rendering implementation is expected to
    parse an IDS and substitute an appropriately constructed CJK ideograph
    glyph on the fly for display.

    4. The implementation constraints on the embedding and recursion depth
    for MdC and IDS's are different.

    5. MdC markup can be done entirely with ASCII characters, which is viewed
    as a plus for entry and display, by those familiar with it.

    >> But if it is included in this table, note that Cuneiform also has
    >> numerous
    >> instances of vertical layout.
    > So, the entry would be
    > Xsux ; Cuneiform ; rotate

    I think the correct answer is "translate". The Cuneiform signs don't turn
    sideways when laid out vertically. They are just stacked vertically down
    the line, as far as I know. But it would help to get somebody familiar
    with monumental inscriptions to verify.


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