Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels

From: John Cowan (
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 09:21:55 EST

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Printing and Displaying Dependent Vowels"

    Peter Kirk scripsit:

    > I accept that some standards do have sections which are described as
    > informative, and as such they are an exception to what I wrote. But as
    > the purpose of a standard is to be normative, it is reasonable to
    > assume, as I have, that its text is normative unless otherwise indicated.

    History, the facts of other standards, and the explicit statements of
    participants in the Unicode Consortium argue otherwise. It is all very
    well for A.P. Herbert's justice to say that "if Parliament does not mean
    what it says, it must say so", but the Unicode Standard is not a code
    of laws.

    > >/This document has been reviewed by Unicode members and other
    > >interested parties, and has been approved by the Unicode Technical
    > >Committee as a *Unicode Standard Annex*. This is a stable document and
    > >may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference by
    > >other specifications./
    > The implication is that this whole document, not just parts of it, is
    > normative.

    By no means. One may make a normative reference to a standard that
    contains informative material. The meaning of "Standard A makes a
    normative reference to standard B" is merely that it is as if the text
    of standard B were incorporated within standard A. For example, the
    XML Recommendation makes normative reference to the Unicode Standard;
    it is as if the former included the latter in its entirety, normative
    and informative parts both. An informative reference, OTOH, is one which
    the compiler of the referencing standard thinks will be useful in aiding
    interpretation; it is not implicitly incorporated in any way.

    > No. At least it does not work for spacing combining marks unless the
    > space of NBSP is compressed to zero width, which you said earlier was
    > not permitted.

    Fair enough. Normally, SP and NBSP cannot disappear, but this is a
    context in which they plausibly could and should.

    > IPA and other phonetic spelling systems are not part of the English
    > writing system, and so do not need to be supported as part of it. Tamil
    > vowels are part of the Tamil writing system, even in isolation, and so
    > do need to be supported by it.

    But they form no part of texts written in Tamil, save those texts
    that make reference to Tamil orthography. If I am writing a book that
    teaches how to hand-write English, I will need to be able to represent
    components of graphemes, but that does not require a general mechanism
    for representing such components in isolation.

    John Cowan
    Consider the matter of Analytic Philosophy.  Dennett and Bennett are well-known.
    Dennett rarely or never cites Bennett, so Bennett rarely or never cites Dennett.
    There is also one Dummett.  By their works shall ye know them.  However, just as
    no trinities have fourth persons (Zeppo Marx notwithstanding), Bummett is hardly
    known by his works.  Indeed, Bummett does not exist.  It is part of the function
    of this and other e-mail messages, therefore, to do what they can to create him.

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