RE: VS: Mayan numerals

From: Whistler, Ken <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 23:25:19 +0000

Marion Gunn wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Marion Gunn
> Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:53 AM
> To: 'Unicode List'
> Subject: Re: VS: 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. ...

I have stayed out of this thread to date, but the above statement by Marion Gunn seems totally detached from any documentable history.

There was some mention of Mayan script on the Unicode discussion list in 1998, but entirely in the context of a consideration of generic mechanisms for controlling the stacking of Egyptian hieroglyphs and a potentially similar issue for stacking elements of Mayan glyphs. There was no mention of Mayan numerals at the time. Likewise in 1997 and 1999. I looked.

There *was* a brief mention of Mayan numerals in particular on the list on January 24, 2002, in a question raised by Jarkko Hietaniemi about what model might be used for their encoding. There were two short responses and one short followup by Jarkko. There was no summary dismissal of anything. But there was also no actual proposal forthcoming at the time to encode anything.

I find no evidence whatsoever that a proposal to encode Mayan numerals has ever been submitted to the UTC. Nor do I find any evidence that such a document has ever been submitted to WG2 (in records dating back to WG2 Document N1), which would have had to occur for any actual proposal to move forward for character additions to ISO/IEC 10646.

Any formal "consideration" by the UTC of any proposed character encoding is contingent upon the submission of an actual proposal to the UTC. The directions for doing so have been publicly available for over a decade now at And in the absence of such a proposal, it is simply wrong to imply that the UTC has ever "dismissed" a proposal to encode Mayan numerals. And "due process" for the UTC is defined at

I would invite Ms. Gunn to submit actual evidence of a "blockade" against encoding Mayan numerals dating from 14 years ago, as I find myself completely puzzled as to what she is talking about. Is she perhaps referring to some non-public deliberations which may have taken place in the context of NSAI back in 1998?

Received on Wed Sep 26 2012 - 18:27:34 CDT

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