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[WMASTERS] Re: Your proposals for charset and grantha


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Dear Selva:
Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to share your ideas.
Here are my comments  (purely personal views) on your proposals and the

replacement of granthas:
usage of aq to generate the ha and other aspirated sounds looks OK.
For all others, with your proposed systems, I cannot imagine myself 
pronouncing the word correctly without prior knowledge of how it is
spelt in other languages 
(try to write the example of your II part -Magic Johnson using
your system with four replacements for Ma, gi, ja, sa -and ask your 
kid or friends to pronounce it! )
With some initial difficulty I may digest the replacement for sha also
but [(ny)(c)] for ja appears very strange.

new stlyle tamil
Interesting but I am not very convinced with the arguments.
The proposals are very reminiscent of transliterated tamil with
markers. I never felt comfortable reading romanized tamil texts with 
these markers. It is OK for few words or lines. But not a full page
text. (I heard that even western indologists prefer to read
long tamil texts in tamil rather than in transliterated tamil with
For foreign words, I would rather quote them as such (e.g
Joseph Priestley using roman letters instead of cOceppu piriicuttili) 
or use equivalent tamil words if they exist. 
I am not a fan of blind transliterations and have no reservations in
writing bilingual texts if they serve the purpose accurately.

charset gif:
Certainly an interesting proposition.
i) If you are going to include greek letters, mu alone may not do the
Chemists like me need many more and would rather use a symbol font
to get the entire collection.
ii) tamil numerals. Have them either  as a complete set or better
use the slots for other equally useful glyphs. Why half-way leaving out
10, 100 and 1000?
iii) The idea of keeping a fixed gap (18 slots) for uyirmeis is really
k at 160, ka at 178, ku at 196 but why didn't you continue that for 
the Ukara varisai also.
iv) what the diacritical markers indicated at 197 and 199 for?
Your newtamil, grantha pages provide no information on these.
v) can't understand the reasons for some slots left vacant (even though
this required breakup of sequence.

In short, I am for some of your propositions but not all.


If the earlier arguments  ( keeping a few grantha characters
in the encoding scheme means forcing people and perpetuating the
existing situation) are repeated here, introduction of new writing
in a proposed standard would also mean forcing things on people?

Any proposals for reform have to go gently and gradually. If I were
you, I would take an alternate approach:  I would make a tamil font with 
the proposed diacritical markers, glyphs and distribute them freely and
on the internet with the proposals. The beauty is we are all in free
and Internet is there to serve everyone. If the ideas appeal to people,
it will 
be like a wildfire. Just a question of time (a couple of years) before 
people will demand that these concepts are incorporated black and white 
in the standards and are to be found in tamil fonts and DTP packages.


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