Re: Back to Coptic (was: Demystifying the Politburo)

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Fri Jul 08 2005 - 09:38:02 CDT

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    Michael Everson a écrit :

    > We're not going to do that. It would introduce inconsistency in
    > representation of Coptic text.
    Why do you say « we » when you express your opinion ? How do you know
    what the WG2 will decide regarding a reference glyph change in the years
    to come ?

    > It may be the case that symbol is never found without an abbreviation
    > bar. That does not mean that the abbreviation bar should be built into
    > it.

    Well, you then expose yourself to some people encoding in their text the
    same symbol with and without the bar. I mean using two different Unicode
    character sequences (SHIMA SHIMA alone, and SHIMA SIMA with the standard
    contraction bar) to represent the same symbol. This is not a good idea,
    I would say, when this can simply be treated, as John suggested, as a
    glyph variant as is the case of the ordinal o (U+00BA) in Latin for
    example (may or may not have an underlining bar)

    >> I suspect it was included because the proposers did not know or did
    >> not want to depend on newer technologies like OpenType which could
    >> easily compose this abbreviation in all its forms (ligated or not,
    >> flattened or not, with or without abbreviation bar) given the basic
    >> Coptic letters and the abbreviation bar.
    > That isn't true. We knew perfectly well. SHIMA SIMA may not be an
    > obligatory ligature,

    So why even encode it : treat it as a normal contraction, the
    contraction bar can force the ligature depending on the font style
    chosen. I really thing this is where the problem stems from. But let
    bygones be bygones, the encoding cannot be undone.

    > It may not "mean" anything without the bar. It is nevertheless an
    > element of the writing system.

    Well, by your construction. This ligature is in no way compulsory, not
    found anywhere else apparently but this common abbreviation and it is
    not a complete symbol : it lacks its bar on top as you admit yourself.
    When have we last encoded parts of symbols that need to be completed
    with an element found elsewhere ?


    P. A.

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