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Re: [WMASTERS] Re: Can we please develop a standard?
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>Thanks for your continued participation in the ongoing efforts to define
>possible standards for tamil. I have clarified several times the
>by which myself, Muthu and others have been proceeding. As the
>discussions become emotional, some of these guidelines are either
>forgotten or not seen as such. So I will try to clarify them here .
>i) Let us take up the question of 'who should define the
>I may add that there are two viewpoints here.
>One opinion is that today, majority who speak Tamil are based
>in Tamilnadu, majority of the printed tamil materials originiate from
>Tamilnadu and so it is the Tamilnadu Govt that should set the
>standards and no-one else. The second school of thought feels that
>international standards in computing, particularly those applicable
>to internet are evolved in world forums involving worldwide
>participation and not mandates of the any individual governments.
>A larger percentage of overseas Tamils already do tamil computing.
>(I have not personally checked if the standards for french, german,
>greek, dutch etc are defined in the first place by their respective
>governments and internet community simply accepted them later).
>In an earlier posting, I have elaborated on how internet community
>"establishes" standards through "established procedures".
>Ravi Paul wrote
>>1. This discussion is just between a minority group of
>>individuals who have no "authority" to implement any standard
>>or reform. As such, this attempt is limited to a group of
>> individuals attempting to set a standard.
>Yes. None of the present ring of participants in Webmasters have
>a written mandate to define standards from "anyone". It is all
>VOLUNTARY EFFORTS of individuals (pure academics, commercial
>software developers and end-users) who feel that it is high time
>that we all agree in some standards that unify the world-wide
>efforts. Few members of the Tamilnadu Advisory Committee
>are 'occasional participants' and they have indicated that if the
>community collectively defines a standard they will give
>due considerations to it in their own deliberations. That is it.
>So within the above scenario, the present efforts are attempts
>to define possible ' standards' in a world forum open without any
>restrictions to anyone who cares to participate. It is a collective
>Frankly none of we three (myself, Muthu and Bala) have yet
>clear ideas on how the standards are to be launched even if
>we all agree on one. In the common interest of all, it would be
>better if subscribers to the above two schools collectively launch
As far as I am concerned let this standard be just an agreement
between these individuals. If enough find it sufficient, others will
follow. Even if the TNC sets another standard later, it does not
matter. It is better to convert between 2 standards than a 100.
>ii) Many of the participants feel that "defining standards" is also
>a good opportunity to introduce "language reforms". All arguments
>for dropping a single glyph "ksha" or the entire grantha set
>are proposals of "language reform". (Though I am still in
>favour of keeping ORNL I agreed for its dropping, since ORNL
>has been dropped officially quite a while ago). In tamil.net we
>had several such "language reform proposals" floated. Anu made
>some suggesting usage of only uyir and mei alphabets. Now
>Selva proposes alternative ways of replacing grantha letters.
>Languages do evolve but changes come about very slowly.
>"Language reform" is a complex highly sensitive issue. It is not
>at all a wise idea in my opinion for a small group on internet
>to engage in such exercises of "introducing reforms".
>Such tasks are better left to Govt -mandated bodies such as TNC.
>For those interested in reforms, it will be a good idea to float ideas
>on internet and seek responses. Where there is large positive
>response, the proposals can be forwarded to appropriate
>government bodies for follow-up. Fortunately TNC is willing
>to hear such propositions. In fact they have officially listed this
>as one of their mandated tasks (but only after defining
>deciding on a working tamil computing standard that fully
>implements the present day practice of writing tamil - this includes
>the minorities). The present approach follows this sequence.
>Many academics and software vendors have clearly stated here
>that they will not use "any standards that leave out the grantha set".
>Softwares are end-user/market driven. If the standards do not
>take into account the needs of majority of end-users they will stay
>only on paper. The present situation of anarchy with many
>user-defined fonts will continue to flourish. Do we want this? No.
>So let us NOT for-ever keep mixing up issues of "language
>reforms" while we discuss a standard based on the present day
>style of written tamil.
>Even at the risk of repeated myself, I would like to repeat here.
>I have no special vested interest to "sanskritise tamil" nor any
>grudge against any "thani thamizh" efforts. The proposed scheme
>is an effort to accommodate present day writing of tamil script.
>So please refrain from colorising present standardising efforts.
Please leave all the characters there. If not, those who need
the characters will still have to create a superset of the new
standard, thus creating another standard.
Nobody as yet has given in me any comments or answers on
my concerns on the font quality of the ikara and iikara columns.
Muthu, you know it is necessary for DTP use, Please give me
If not, as I requested, please leave some empty slots adjacent
to the required glyphs. If there is not enough space, there are
some other glyphs that can be moved around to optimise space.
I will give a proposal if agreeable.
>iv) tamil numerals:
>As far as implementing the present-day
>usage of tamil, the only deviation the present scheme
>introduces is to have the tamil numerals. For no fault of
>it, tamil numerals have died out from current usage.
>The world is going towards multi-lingual computing.
>The necessity for this in a country like India with its
>vast language diversity needs no clarification. Unicode is
>fast evolving as 'the' approach to take with no other serious
>contender. Indian Govt has already took a stand in defining
>Indian Standard Code (ISC) for these and fortunately Unicode
>is implementing the ISC in its indian language segment.
>Repeatedly we have stressed that we all will benefit it a lot
>if the proposed standard is defined in such a way to co-exist
>happily with unicode.
>It is "not" the revolutionary idea of me or Muthu to bring back
>tamil numerals. They are there already in ISC and Unicode!!!
>Irrespective of the details of implementation (at the glyph
>level or character level) if we do leave out a dozen glyphs
>that are in Unicode/ISCII we cannot claim any compatibility.
>Tamil numerals 10, 100 and 1000 are there in Unicode.
>Nagu's proposal to "add a glyph for 0" so that these numerals
>can be re-activated one-day to do real mathematics is good.
>It is now up to TNC to reflect on this. (If my understanding
>is correct, tamil numerals are not based on decimal system ! ).
>If "tamil numerals" are to be dropped, revisions have to come
>first in Unicode and ISCII. Then we will have 10+ slots
>liberated for other things.
Even if unicode and ISCII has the tamil numerals, has anybody
in Webmaster ever used them in their text? As far as I know,
our current encoding will not replace the current unicode settings
and will still require translation software. So, this can still be
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