Re: per-character "stories" in a database (derives from Re: geometric shapes)

From: William Overington (
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 07:21:02 EST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: per-character "stories" in a database"

    Michael Everson wrote as follows.


    Having said that, you could probably commission someone like me to provide
    such a list.

    end quote

    I read that late last night and I realized that that had not occurred to me.
    I had a long, quiet, late night think. Yes, I had been thinking that I
    needed to convince other people that my idea for the list is a good idea,
    because I feel that there is a need for the list, yet do not have the
    knowledge to produce it. Yet, I don't need to convince anyone! I can
    commission the production of the list as a work of art and it can be
    published and made available on the web and hardcopy versions can be sent to
    the British Library and so on and the list can just exist as a work of art.
    If at a later date one or more people choose, free of all charge, to apply
    the list in content authorship on the DVB-MHP (Digital Video Broadcasting -
    Multimedia Home Platform) interactive television platform then fine. It
    might then be that a PFR0 font carrying glyphs encoded into the Private Use
    Area of Unicode starting at, say, U+EC00, in the sequence of the list, could
    be broadcast via direct broadcast satellites across the whole of the Indian
    subcontinent and maybe elsewhere around the world as well, for use in
    conjunction with a eutocode typography file produced from the information in
    the list so that Indian language texts, broadcast using regular Unicode,
    could be displayed correctly from a Java program.

    If the list were used to encode fonts for non-broadcast scenarios, such as
    in the Private Use Area of a TrueType font, for use with a eutocode
    typography file, then fine. If the list were used to index and access a
    list of glyphs within an OpenType font, then fine. It would all
    assist interoperability at some level. However, the main purpose of the
    list, to provide the necessary information to produce good typography for
    languages of the Indian subcontinent within an interactive television
    environment, with a high level of open portability as between one
    application and another so that a broadcast font could be used by various
    content authors, would be achieved and be waiting for the possibility of
    being used by content authors.

    I wrote down the following as a title for the work.

    A numbered list of presentation forms for scripts of the Indian subcontinent
    together with sequences of Unicode characters which may be used to produce
    their display.

    I decided that each item may be described as both I+ a hexadecimal number
    (that is, a capital I, for India) and J+ a decimal number. For example, a
    particular item might be both I+001A and J+26 in the list.

    Item I+0000 J+0 is not assigned an item from the list but is a commissioning
    plaque, perhaps represented by a glyph with an overall round design like the
    blue plaques seen on historic buildings, or maybe a glyph with an overall
    landscape oval design like the works plate on a steam engine. The plaque
    would carry a distinctive logo which could be included in fonts so that a
    test application could easily display an indication that the font were based
    upon the list.

    In application, the marker point I and J could be mapped to whatever
    abstract point is desired, such as U+EC00 or glyph 500 of an array of glyphs
    within an advanced format font, or however is desired for the particular
    application of the list consistent with any standards with which it may be

    I have in mind that the list would cover everything which would be needed
    and that it would be set out with scripts in Unicode order and individual
    items within each script in a dictionary type order as far as possible.

    If possible the list should have a maximum of 1024 entries, though it can be
    longer if necessary due to the number of items. There can be unused places
    in the list so that each script may commence upon a round number hexadecimal

    Can you possibly say how much someone might be likely to want to charge for
    such a commission please?

    Depending upon the sort of cost of such a list I could then look at the
    possibilities of how it could be funded.

    I am thinking that the list could also be applied to produce a sequence of
    stone carved glyphs, one for each block, in stone blocks around the walls of
    a building in a typography theme park or of a library.

    The list would be a work of art which could be useful, and possibly widely
    applied, for centuries.

    Michael later added.


    No one would undertake such work for free, methinks.

    end quote

    That's fine. We are not a slave society. If my book The Eutotokens of
    Learning, gets made into
    a movie, I will get royalties. I enjoyed writing it and it conveys some of
    my ideas, yet it is intellectual property and it may make money yet!

    Copyright is a very important intellectual property right, though for most
    works it does not last for ever. I think that it would be a good idea if
    copyrights, when they expire should not expire but should then be such that
    royalties go to the United Nations for ever to help with health care around
    the world. Just think, the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan go out of
    copyright in about two years time, so perhaps they could be the providers of
    such money. The idea is not perhaps as far fetched as it might at first
    sound. Please look at the provisions in British Law (in an Act of 1988
    about intellectual property I think) where there is a specific provision in
    relation to the one work Peter Pan. Where the author of a work is a
    corporation the last seventy years of copyright starts ticking right from
    publication, so perhaps some of the great movies would soon produce such
    income. Just an idea at present, but maybe once this posting goes around
    the world lots of people might think about it and maybe someone can get it

    William Overington

    15 March 2003

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