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[WMASTERS] Re: Re. 8-bit scheme and Unicode 2.0 Tamil


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Dr.K. Kalyanasundaram wrote:
> Srinivasan wrote:
> >I suggest that we propose this scheme (version 1.4) for the
> >UNICODE Tamil set. Positions U+0B80 to U+0BFF
> >
> >I feel that suggesting a standard where none exist
> >is more urgent than arguing about where there are
> >already many.
> First a small clarification:
> It is true that we do not have any standards as far as the
> 7-bit and 8-bit font based DTP packages are concerned.
> But Unicode 2.0 tamil segment is an established 16-bit standard.
> There are already a handful of packages that have implemented
> this current version of Unicode tamil .

My impression was opposite.
For 7-bit/8 bit there are a couple of popular schemes, they are the
de-facto standards. I do not know of a single person using Unicode
based word processors for his/her use. Yes, there are a few
commercial packages saying they support Unicode in many languages.

> If we are not happy with
> its contents, there is scope for revision. I gather it will be a
> long drawn out process to introduce revisions into Unicode.
> Apparently for indic languages the official organ of contact
> for Unicode is Govt. of India. So for tamil, even TN Govt
> has to go through DOE, Govt of India!

Then I guess we need not waste time on "standardizing".
We will leave that to the politicians and spend our
time more usefully in serving the cause of Tamil culture.

> I will try to illustrate the differences in the two approaches by
> discussing an analogy here.
> Unicode sees the different indic languages under one umbrella
> like architect sees many houses that constitute a housing colony.
> In an attempt to provide aesthetics, the architect can impose some
> uniformity in the way all the houses of the colony are built.

Your anolagy is quite correct here.

> Unicode starts with Devanagari as the most complex house to
> build and sees all others (incl. Tamil ) as simplified versions of
> these.
> So we have many basic/foundation bricks in Devanagari but only
> a handful in tamil. (only one ka in tamil instead of four ks ka, kha,
> ga, gha ).

I fail to see any such "umbrella" in Unicode. Each of the following
languages have a private set of 128 positions. They can put what they
want there. Tamil set is at the same level as Laotian or Greek.
They are all under one umbrella.

Greek 0380-03FF
Cyrillic 0400-047F
Armenian 0480-04FF
Hebrew and so on.
Tamil 0B80-0BFF
angul Jamo 

To make Unicode set the standard way of writing for Tamil, Kannada etc.,
may be very difficult. They might impose it for government official
documents. I think many will find writing Tamil in the Unicode Devnagri
a better alternative than in Unicode Tamil script!.

K. Srinivasan
K. Srinivasan of Quebec.


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