Re: Variations and Unifications ?

From: Asmus Freytag (t) <>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:20:06 -0700
On 3/16/2016 11:11 PM, Philippe Verdy wrote:
"Disunification may be an answer?" We should avoid it as well.

Disunification is only acceptable when
- there's a complete disunification of concepts....

I think answering this question depends on the understanding of "concept", and on understanding what it is that Unicode encodes.

When it comes to symbols, which is where the discussion originated, it's not immediately obvious what Unicode encodes. For example, I posit that Unicode does not encode the "concept" for specific mathematical operators, but the individual "symbols" that are used for them.

For example PRIME and DOUBLE PRIME can be used for minutes and seconds (both of time and arc) as well as for other purposes. Unicode correctly does not encode "MINUTE OF ARC", but the symbol used for that -- leaving it up to the notational convention to relate the concept and the symbol.

Thus we have a case where multiple concepts match a single symbol. For the converse, we take the well-known case of COMMA and FULL STOP which can both be used to separate a decimal fraction.

Only in those cases where a single concept is associated so exclusively with a given symbol, do we find the situation that it makes sense to treat variations in shape of that symbol as the same symbol, but with different glyphs.

For some astrological symbols that is the case, but for others it is not. Therefore, the encoding model for astrological text cannot be uniform. Where symbols have exclusive association with a concept, the natural encoding is to encode symbols with an understood set of variant glyphs. Where concepts are denoted with symbols that are also used otherwise, then the association of concept to symbol must become a matter of notational convention and cannot form the basis of encoding: the code elements have to be on a lower level, and by necessity represent specific symbol shapes.

Received on Thu Mar 17 2016 - 02:21:04 CDT

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