Sorting it all Out Michael Kaplan's random stuff of dubious value Be sure to read the disclaimer here first!
So, I had that Behind the Proposed Change to Tamil in Unicode presentation:
The encoding of Tamil within Unicode has been the subject of displeasure by the government of Tamil Nadu for as long as it has been there. It has led to a proposal (built up over the last decade) to try to change the way that Unicode looks at Tamil, and the very real questions of why this effort has been so persistent and what will eventually happen have not really been discussed overtly in all of this time. This presentation's goal is to talk about why the proposal exists, why it will ultimately fail, and why the language itself can survive that fact. The broader issues of the view of languages and the "rights" of language owners will also be discussed in this case study of a language that has been both wronged and righted as few others have in modern times.
The presentation that John Cowan, in a comment to this blog, asked:
Are there slides for your talk available?
Anyway, here they are, the many forms of the presentation, in the form available to attendees which is I think the PDF, and four other forms, for yucks (you can pick your favorite, sizes can help guide your decision here!):
Now this presentation tries to covers 11 years of history that are actually about lots of opinions and beliefs about up to two millenia of history,
and how it impacted a proposal that has been around for over seven
years that I have had some connection to it. Although it attempts to be
as lighthearted as possible, the source material is almost
embarrassingly dense. I'll likely blog about some of the more expandable bits of this in the future, including some of the following, as there are a host of issues relating to:
This blog brought to you by P (U+0050, aka LATIN CAPITAL LETTER P)
I'm looking forward to "death threats and love affairs" (sounds like a good movie, or maybe the title of your autobiography) -- can we have those first?
Thanks; great slides; must have been an excellent preso!
One thing I wondered about. You wrote:
Unicode has had a Korean implementation that allows Hangul syllables to be decomposed into Jamo and Jamo to be composed into Hangul.
Government folk in Korea have expressed displeasure this way of the language being handled for as long as they have known about it, despite linguistic validity
What part are they displeased with, the jamo part or the Johab part, or just the fact that both exist? Johab handles all of Modern Korean -- indeed over-handles it: some of the represented syllables aren't actually used) -- but you need the jamo representation to do Middle Korean with all its Chinese borrowings.
I may get there eventually, but I'll probably start with the ones more on-topic. :-)
Thanks, I haven't seen ratings yet but I got some good feedback and I had fun. There are other topics that it would be fun to cover or see covered in similar style.... :-)
They do not like the canonical equivalence -- they think that Jamo are fine/dandy for Old Hangul, but modern Hangul should always be in the precomposed Hangul syllables block. The notion of normalization freely supporting the conversion between them, that they just don't care for.
Of course real Korean and other linguists don't mind it, since that is what it is anyway. But few folks with the ear of the government folk have strong feelings about their language....
So what needs to be done?
Clearly Unicode won't re-encode the script. That ship has sailed.
But if users really think of their language as a syllabary, software needs to treat it as one even though it is actually encoded differently. That means editors treating the glyphs as indivisible, even though they're composed in Unicode, and keyboard layouts to permit users to enter text one glyph at a time.
That puts a lot of compatibility issues on the vast mass of software out there, though. Could, for example, Uniscribe dictate where character breaks go?
Way back in September after I did that presentation at the Internationalization and Unicode conference