Tamil Discussion archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: glyph choices for char.encoding -version 1.2

Dear Muthu:

> Also, I see no problems in starting the first character 
> (kaal) at slot 128. Any objections ? (and why please ;-))

In case you have missed, Dr. Srinivasan wrote this monday
specifically the following:
"The positions 128, 129, 130, 141, 142, 143, 144, 157, 158, 
222, 234 do not display in either MS WORD or in COREL WORD
PERFECT. That covers about 90% of the MS Windows word
processor market. That is why I left those few places 
empty in the 8 Bit Roman-Tamil bilingual ADHAWIN.TTF.
Of course, we can standardize some other layout like 
ISO-8859-X, ignore the 90% of existing softwares and
develop "our own softwares"  :-)  "
Ravi Paul also expressed similar reservations on putting
key characters in the slots 128-159. These two have 
extensive track experience writing softwares for PCs 
and for Windows. So I wanted to implement their advice.
So, I masked off these slots in the version 1.2 and placed
only unused tamil characters ngu, nguu, nyu and nyuu.
Probably in Anjal you use all slots 128-255.
Are you asking for opinions from others for clarifications?

ii) I am not sure which is the best way to decide on
to have or not to have a certain sets of glyphs - be
it diacritical markers or old style or grantha ones:
No objections were raised for tamil numerals and so
the case was clear.
For grantha ones, amongst those who cared to let know
their views, majority are for keeping them. 
For the old-style tamil characters, the best approach
appears to be assigning them the lowest priority.
For the diacritical markers, I listed several reasons
why it is useful to have them. You have not questioned
any of these nor gave any specific objections as to
why they should not be there. No one else made any
statements one way or other.
I tend to agree with your preferences to have transl.
tamil using plain/lower ASCII roman without diacritics.
But I am not sure what the majority opinion is.

It would be better if we debate specifically 
this point, viz standards for transliterated form
of writing tamil before we go further. Vasu 
Ranganathan raised this issue (and also Sujatha)
earlier and listed several questions to be answered.

i) Should be go for transliteration schemes that are 
    based on plain ASCII without diacritics or 
    adopt a scheme with diacritics ?
ii) what should be the actual scheme under either of
   the above two possibilities?

If we decide to go for plain ASCII without diacritics,
then there is no need to keep these markers in the
character encoding scheme.
If we agree for keeping transliteration scheme with
diacritics as the standard for translit. tamil, then
we cannot have a second font just for handling these.

I would like to hear from you and others, why not have
such standards in solid grounds with specific encoding
in a single font.  I am not in favour of leaving
it as a playground for software developers to choose the
way they want to treat it. Having a code assigned 
for a marker makes its standardised.
I am sure Profs. Hart, Schiffman, Vasu and many others
on this net have something to say on standards for
transliterated tamil. I request them to post their

> Having diac. marks *encoded* suggests that we 
> can store text in both formats - right ?  Is this OK ? 
> Something's not quite right here - right ?  
> Comments please......
Let me explain what I think. May be others can comment.
Having diac. marks encoded means that, using a single
font, tamil texts can be entered in either format (
in tamil script OR in transliterated format).

In self-standing fonts with direct output features, 
the format will be decided already by the input 
process. I can also open up any of the thousands
of archived materials in either format using the 
same std. tamil font and read them. All tamil related
materials are handled by one single font. Period.

Of course in specialised DTP softwares with convertor
routines incorporated, additional options are possible
to store in either format - store in tamil script 
even if the input is in transliterated format. 
The latter is no different from the romanized 
input method already accepted as a standard 
inputing process.


Home | Main Index | Thread Index