Re: not font designers?

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Sun Nov 07 2004 - 19:28:32 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: not font designers?"

    At 22:45 +0000 2004-11-07, Peter Kirk wrote:

    >You have indeed stated an intention to encode "significant nodes".

    Yes. Based on the scholarly taxonomy of writing systems.

    >But the official documentation, the Unicode
    >Standard, does not say anything like this.

    Alarm! Alarm! I detect a desire on your part to
    consider informative, explanatory text as

    >Rather, it states that Unicode encodes
    >"Characters, Not Glyphs", and that "Characters
    >are the abstract representations of the smallest
    >components of written language that have
    >SEMANTIC value" (TUS section 2.2 p.15, my
    >emphasis on "SEMANTIC").

    Yes. ARABIC LETTER SHEEN is a different letter,
    and a different character from SYRIAC LETTER
    SHIN. DEVANAGARI LETTER KA is a different letter,
    and a different character, from ORIYA LETTER KA.
    PHOENICIAN LETTER NUN is a different letter, and
    a different character, from HEBREW LETTER NUN.

    >And, Michael, I think you have agreed with me,
    >and so with many scholars of Semitic languages,
    >that the distinction between corresponding
    >Phoenician and Hebrew letters (like that between
    >corresponding Devanagari and Gujarati letters)
    >is not a semantic one.

    LETTERS differ by semantics. SCRIPTS differ by

    >The conclusion we reach from reading the
    >Standard is that these distinctions are glyph
    >distinctions and so should not be encoded.

    You're wrong. You ignore the historical
    node-based distinctions which differentiate the
    Indic scripts one from the other, and which apply
    equally to Phoenician and Hebrew. And no, Fraktur
    and Sütterlin are not the same sort of thing.

    >If it is indeed the position of the UTC that
    >corresponding characters in "significant node"
    >scripts should be encoded despite the lack of
    >semantic distinctiveness,

    This is YOUR requisite.

    >I would like to suggest an amendment to the
    >standard to make this principle clear. This
    >would of course have to be agreed with WG2.
    >Until such an amendment has been put in place,
    >there will continue to be opposition to encoding
    >of any new scripts which do not show clear
    >semantic distinctiveness and so appear to be in
    >breach of the principles of the Standard.

    You're mistaken in your application of the
    concept of "semantic distinctiveness" with regard
    to script identity.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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