A last missing link for interoperable representation

Richard Wordingham via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Mon Jan 14 02:48:05 CST 2019

On Mon, 14 Jan 2019 07:47:45 +0000 (GMT)
Julian Bradfield via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:

> On 2019-01-13, James Kass via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
> > यदि आप किसी रोटरी फोन से कॉल कर रहे हैं, तो कृपया स्टार (*) दबाएं।  
> > What happens with Devanagari text?  Should the user community
> > refrain from interchanging data because 1980s era software isn't
> > Unicode aware?  
> Devanagari is an established writing system (which also doesn't need
> separate letters for different typefaces). Those who wish to exchange
> information in devanagari will use either an ISCII or Unicode system
> with suitable font support.

Has ISCII kept abreast of additions to the encoded Devanagari script?
Hindi may be an established writing system, but Vedic Sanskrit with a
full details is another matter.

Even with full Unicode support, having a 'suitable font' is an issue
with 'plain text', even deprecated plain text. The problems are that
writers of Hindi don't want to have to manually suppress ligature
formation, and it doesn't help that tables of Hidi conjuncts don't
express the difference between real and fake viramas.  (The difference
surfaces with preposed vowels.) 

> Just as those who wish to exchange English text with typographic
> detail will use a suitable typographic mark-up system with font
> support, which will typically not interfere with plain text searching.
> Even in a PDF document, "art nouveau" will appear as "art nouveau"
> whatever font it's in.

But "art nouveau" is ASCII.  Copying truly complex Indic from a PDF is
still something of an adventure.

> Incidentally, a large chunk of my facebook feed is Indian politics,
> and of that portion of it that is in Hindi or other Indian
> languages, most is still written in ASCII transcription, even though
> every web browser and social media application in common use surely
> has full Unicode support these days.

I don't believe the USE has been added to IE 11, and certainly not on
Windows 7.  And I fear that of OpenType fonts, only mine
widely support Tai Tham as documented on the Unicode site.  (And
'widely' excludes IE 11, but not MS Edge.)  A fair few Tai Tham fonts
rely on being permitted to bypass the script-specific support, which the
Windows stack only permits to privileged scripts. 


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