From: Gregg Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Jul 06 2005 - 19:35:36 CDT
Kenneth Whistler wrote:
First off, thank you very much for taking the time to provide a
thoughtful, non-polemical response.
> Your task, instead, would be to create a consensus within the
> character encoding community (and the implementing information
> technology companies) that the existing Arabic encoding is so
> flawed that it requires introduction and implementation of
> a competing, distinct textual representation in Unicode.
> That, sir, is a *very* high mountain to climb, at this point.
But is is completely hopeless? An infinitely high mountain is one
thing; a very high but finite mountain is another.
(Aside: "character encoding community"? What is that? Who is that?
Does it make any effort to reach out to underrepresented language
communities? Does it represent any interests other than corporate or
I would like to repeat for the sake of avoiding flame wars, that I don't
have a problem with Unicode. It is what it is; it cannot possibly be
all things to all people. On the other hand, I do believe it is
possible to make a compelling argument that "the existing Arabic
encoding is so flawed that it requires introduction and implementation
of a competing, distinct textual representation in Unicode". But up to
now at least, my conclusion is that it is a total waste of time and
effort to try to introduce such a representation to Unicode, because the
fundamental design principles of Unicode are contrary to such a
representation. Not because Unicode is intentionally evil, but because
it is an engineering design, not a philosophy, it has many masters to
please, and many of those masters have powerful economic incentives to
oppose a proper encoding of Arabic (not to mention other RTL languages.)
Hence I conclude the way to go is to design an encoding independently
and hope for the best.
Sincerely, believe it or not,
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