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7-bit and Grantha chars.
I would like to keep all the normally used grantha characters, including kS
and sri. This is not because of any political agenda, only because I think
many people will like to use those characters. They have become a pretty
standard part of Tamil.
With regard to upper or lower 128, I think we must differentiate between a
font meant for the Web and one for use at home with word processors. We
have a font we have used extensively (it's available in public domain --
tamlasr) which uses only the lower 128. It works extremely well with word
processors etc. In fact, I've written a Mac program that takes text in
Roman transliteration copied to the clipboard, converts it, and puts the
converted text on the clipboard. It will selectively change only bold
text, and put the text into proper fonts. With this sort of tool, there is
absolutely no need to use the same font for Tamil and Roman.
It also seems to me that HTML is evolving in such a way that the font face
command will soon be universal. Netscape mail (but not yet Eudora)
recognize HTML. Soon, therefore, there will be no need for a font that
combines Roman (lower 128) and Tamil (upper 128).
Here, then, is my suggestion: Let's settle on a standard for both a 7-bit
and 8-bit font. AND let's make the two compatible -- that is, positions of
the 8-bit font are the same as the positions of the 7-bit one, except with
the first bit set to 1 instead of 0 (i.e. the 7-bit position + 128). This
will make conversion extremely simple -- and it will mean that we can
easily create sorting algorithms etc. that work on both fonts. George Hart
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