Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 07:31:51 EST

  • Next message: Chris Jacobs: "Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels"

    Peter Kirk scripsit:

    > Yes it is, in Unicode 4.0.0. Ernest quoted from UAX #14 "All other space
    > characters have fixed width." This may be in the standard by mistake,
    > but it is in the standard. Asmus says that this will be changed in
    > 4.0.1, but that has not yet been released. If a statement is written in
    > a standard, even in the introduction to a different section, that is
    > normative.

    This is just false. All standards known to me have both normative and
    informative parts; there can be no presumption that a certain text is
    normative merely because it is in the standard.

    It's true that the Unicode Standard in particular does not always
    clearly distinguish between normative and informative text; but
    in general it would surprise me if anything said in an introduction
    was to be taken as normative.

    > But this doesn't solve the Tamil etc problem as what is needed there is
    > a non-spacing non-breaking base character which can allow the vowel to
    > display without the dotted circle. Perhaps ZWJ would be suitable.

    The use of SP or NBSP works fine for vowels as well as other combining

    > In that case something clear and sensible needs to be added about Indic
    > dependent vowels.


    > I would say that if specific products do not support dictionaries,
    > indexes or literacy primers in Tamil, they cannot claim to support Tamil.

    This is extremist. Not only products, but whole standards, have rightly
    claimed to support English without being able to support the specialized
    requirements of dictionaries -- for IPA or another phonetic spelling
    system, for syllabication dots, for condensed typography, for the
    ability to set text in multiple tight columns. Indeed, it may be
    fairly said that even now Unicode does not provide full support for
    all the characters used in English lexicography.

    Barry gules and argent of seven and six,        John Cowan
    on a canton azure fifty molets of the second.
            --blazoning the U.S. flag     

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