Re: Umlaut and Tréma, was: Variation sele ctors and vowel marks

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Jul 14 2004 - 18:25:16 CDT

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Umlaut and Tréma, was: Variation selectors and vowel marks"

    > >>One
    > >>such situation is Holam Male which never takes an additional combining
    > >>mark*. So why can't we represent it as <VAV, HOLAM, variation selector>?
    > >>
    > >>
    > >
    > >Because the UTC has ruled out <CM, VAR> as interpretable sequences.
    > >
    > >
    > Is there a better reason than "because we say so"? You don't have to
    > answer that one.

    Well how about this: because there are saber tooth tigers stuck
    for all eternity in the La Brea tar pits with less reason to
    have believed that they were stepping into a trap than the UTC
    believes may be lurking behind <CM, VAR> sequences.

    > I don't quite understand you here. Are you saying that <VAV, variation
    > selector, HOLAM> would be acceptable for representing a variation of the
    > entire grapheme cluster, or that it would not?


    <VAV, VAR1> *could* be defined as a standardized variation sequence,
    given the current definition of what that means. The standard would
    have to specify, in StandardizedVariants.txt, just what <VAV, VAR1>
    looked like, as opposed to merely <VAV>, so that an implementation
    that chose to interpret <VAV, VAR1> would know what to do and where
    it would get a glyph description for the variant.

    If you then wanted to apply a HOLAM combining mark to that variant,
    whatever it looked like, you would be free to do so, of course.
    But the definition in StandardizedVariants.txt would be of the
    standardized variation sequence itself. It wouldn't define what
    happened when you applied a HOLAM to it, or for that matter, what
    happened when you applied an acute or a candrabindu to it.

    Variation selectors are *not* intended to stand in for a generalized
    glyph description language, nor to be used in indefinite sequences
    of "stuff" to represent arbitrary glyphic variation.

    The *only* allowed sequences defined, definable, and interpretable
    are <BASE, VAR>. That's it. Period. Fini.

    If holam male cannot reasonably be considered as application of a
    normal holam to a variant form of a vav (which itself has
    independent existence unrelated to the application of a holam to
    it), then, use of variation selectors to attempt to solve the
    representation problem is just a dry hole. Hmm?

    > The alternatives which we might consider include <VAV, ZW(N)J, HOLAM>.

    Yes. Such approaches are unconstrained by the concerns which apply
    to variation selectors.

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