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Re: Precomposed Unicode layouts and permutations (was:Re: hello + UTF-8

<quote who="Clytie Siddall" date="Mon, Aug 08, 2005 at 02:16:55PM +0930">
> With the size of the Unicode set, there is nothing to stop there  
> being a precomposed layout out there, as long as someone has created it.

I don't think that's necessarily true. Implementing precomposed and
decomposed characters in the same standard introduces two potential
encodings for the same data which is something that then needs to be
taken into account in every implementation. It gets messy quickly and
should probably be avoided where possible.

There are some particulars about Devanagari that I do not completely
understand that I've heard make this proposal particularly difficult.

The official position seems to have been that the existing precomposed
characters (the 475 original accented Latin characters plus Hangul and
whatever else) were included to provide easier compatibility with
existing encodings. Certainly, that is not an argument that makes
everyone happy. :)

> It's a larger job than, say, a 26-character alphabet

I think that's an understatement. :)

> After all, the Chinese eventually got a typewriter designed, although  
> it was considered an impossible task at various stages. ;)

Just because it's technically possible doesn't mean it's the best
course of action. :)

If this is something you're serious about, you should bring this up on
the Unicode list. I haven't been on there for too long but I don't
recall a proposal like this coming by yet.


Benjamin Mako Hill

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