Re: polytonic Greek: diacritics above long vowels ?, ?, ?

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2013 08:40:47 -0700

On 8/5/2013 11:55 PM, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> 2013-08-05 23:46, Richard Wordingham wrote:
>> The requirement is that conformant processes not think they are doing
>> the right thing by treating canonically equivalent strings
>> differently. If there is latitude in a process, e.g. rendering, I
>> can't find a requirement to treat canonically equivalent strings
>> identically. Can you?
> The first sentence is somewhat difficult to understand. I suppose the
> key is the word “the” vs. “a” in “the right thing”.
> As far as I can see, the standard allows canonically equivalent
> strings to be handled differently, but it says that software should
> not expect other software to do so.

But if you write your rendering software so that it gives two different
results, then the overall result will depend on how the data arrives,
and if there's no control over that, the results will be "random". Not a
good thing, and definitely not "the right thing" to do.
> In particular, in rendering, a program might display U+03B5 GREEK
> SMALL LETTER EPSILON U+0384 GREEK TONOS by drawing ε and placing ΄
> using a glyph for it in the font being used. This might be regarded as
> being of inferior quality, but hardly as non-conforming.
I agree, this is not strictly a *conformance* issue, but a quality
issue. Conformance is a pretty low bar, when it comes to defining
quality software.

When faced with a generic question "what should I design for?" the
answer should be something like "make sure you conform, but strive for
true quality in result or user experience".

Measured by that, using a fallback rendering, instead of optimal
rendering based on the normalization state of the data is a poor choice,
unless, of course, your spec says - in essence - "best results if you
normalize first". But even that presumes that the perparer of the text
data has influence over how the data arrives at the rendering library.

It would be worse if it was not a question of fallback rendering, but a
question of unrelated alternate renderings. Those should really not be
picked based on random factors, like the normalization state, that may
not be under control of the ultimate consumer of the library.

> Yucca
Received on Tue Aug 06 2013 - 10:46:39 CDT

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