Re: What is the principle?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Mar 31 2004 - 11:42:46 EST

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    On 31/03/2004 08:08, Doug Ewell wrote:

    > ...
    >The perception that no-one has yet implemented custom PUA properties
    >does not mean that doing so is prohibited or unworkable, any more than
    >the shortage of widely available rendering engines for the Tibetan and
    >Khmer encoding models implies that those models are unworkable.
    >Failure to see this distinction, between (a) what Unicode allows and
    >prohibits and (b) what software products do and do not support, is doing
    >more to convince us of the hardness of Peter's head than anything else.
    Doug, I don't know who you are accusing of failing to see this
    distinction, but it certainly isn't me. I have made it very clear
    several times that I understand that IN PRINCIPLE I am free to write my
    own operating system, or a large part of it, to display these characters
    as I wish. The problem is one IN PRACTICE.

    Your advice reminds me of the advice that might have been given to
    Burbage (?) not to hire Shakespeare, but rather to use a team of monkeys
    because given enough time they would write the same plays - true, but
    not practical. The ones I am comparing to monkeys are would-be PUA users
    like myself who are no more capable than monkeys of writing OSs in a
    sensible time frame. (Sadly there are no OSs in the Shakespeare
    category.) :-)

    But this practical problem would go away (in time, but a lot less time
    than it would take me to write an OS!) if Unicode specified different
    DEFAULT (read "only ones supported in any commercial or open source
    software") properties for parts of the PUA, and the software companies
    implemented this - which would be trivial if specified.

    You claim to have customised the properties of PUA characters. Do you
    mean that you have written software which processes them according to
    your customisations? It is easy to list properties. It is very hard to
    implement them, if one has to start from scratch, without any help from
    the established manufacturers.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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