Re: VS: Mayan numerals

From: Marion Gunn <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 18:52:58 +0100

Who knows, Jameson, but that some Unicoders may actually believe that
delaying the encoding of Mayan means delaying the end of their world. :-)

Scríobh 21/09/2012 20:35, Erkki I Kolehmainen:
> I fail to understand your strong attack on Unicode.
> Sincerely, Erkki

One-line msgs such as the above (which Erkki cc:ed inappropriately to
Irish groups outside his control) can no longer scare ordinary people
into silence.

On a personal note, I do understand that this is the worst-ever week in
history for Finland-Ireland relations, but did not expect that negative
political attitude to be reflected in that one-line unanticipated
negative shot (above) sent in reply to an honest opinion, which makes
me feel like discarding a summer headscarf I like(d), which I
understood, the number of years ago I can not recall just now, to be a
gift from Erkki (was I wrong about that!), with much-loved place-names
on it.

On a professional note, I repeat that NSAI (Ireland) will vote YES on
this specific proposal, if given the chance to do so, despite negative
pressure to the contrary from Unicode members, as broadcast by them on
the <>. Ireland is not taking any more blame for
problems arising solely within Unicode, such as its continuing objection
to encoding Mayan numerals. Please see portion of msg from Frédéric
Grosshans quoted below, which supports Mr Quinn's case.

Like Mr Grosshams, I do not pretend to fully understand Unicode's
apparently abstruse decision-making process, only to know that other
"character sets" I'd have thought less important have certainly been
passed by Unicode members on the nod, as it were (i.e. without as much
evidence as we have for Mayan numerals).

This simple request to encode Mayan numerals has been delayed on so long
as to look like a blockade, 14 full years have gone past since this
issue was first "considered" by Unicode members, who summarily
dismissed it without due process. Now that it is being "re-considered"
by Unicode members, one can only hope that this time it is accorded due
process with no more delay. That is, judged fairly on foot of Mr Quinn's
detailed submission, as indicated. Proposals with far less merit and far
less urgency than his have been proposed by Unicode agents and passed
into sectoral standards with more haste and less skill.

Ensuring an untrammelled vote in SC 2 on the specific merits of this
specific proposal is the only thing of importance now.

Scríobh 24/09/2012 19:16, Jameson Quinn:
> (Resend; last time bounced due to photo attachment)
> So, I see that this thread is heating up again, and a progress report
> is in order.
> * I still intend to present a proposal in the time frame I gave
> before: within this b'ak'tun (5000 year period... that is, by
> the end of the year). I have been looking for examples of use...

Good. The more evidence the better, only don't be sidetracked into
replying to delay-causing requests for more and yet more evidence when
what I have already seen ought to be enough (your description of the
user groups already feeling the pinch due to non-recognition by Unicode
of their characters makes their case).

> As to the debate about whether these are worth encoding now, I
> certainly believe that the answer is yes. As others have said, whether
> or not you think it's probable that these modern characters will end
> up being usable in encoding ancient text, their usefulness now is in
> no doubt.

No doubt at all. I believe you. You have my permission to use my name by
way of reference to help convince others in standards circles with whom
I have been working successfully for over twenty years, although that
name mightn't do you much good in the other, smaller circles sometimes
allowed to dominate this and related lists. :-) Anyway, you certainly
seem to have already recruited good local and reputable academic
support, which should be all that's needed, given a level playing field
and no favours.


> Jameson
Scríobh 26/09/2012 13:44, Frédéric Grosshans:
> Le 24/09/2012 20:16, Jameson Quinn a écrit :
> ... Good pictures of the bills (including the Q50 one ) can be found
> her .
> By the way, I recently saw a post from an associate professor of
> matematics looking at ancient number systems in (Xe)TeX. He says "I’d
> love to be able to do something similar with the Mayan numbers. I
> tried for a while, but couldn’t get them to work." The reason of his
> failure is the lack of unicode encoding.
>> Do people think I should include any of this investigation of ancient
>> usage in my proposal?
> As you've probably guessed by now, I think you should... but I have no
> experience at all in the encoding process!
> ...

Marion Gunn * eGteo (Estab.1991)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn, Baile an
Bhóthair, An Charraig Dhubh,
Co. Átha Cliath, Éire/Ireland.
* * *
Received on Wed Sep 26 2012 - 12:55:18 CDT

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