New technology improves syllabics on the web (fwd)

Donald Z. Osborn dzo at BISHARAT.NET
Sun Oct 10 06:31:07 UTC 2004

Interesting thread. I'll be passing the news along (also noticed mention of
Glyphgate on another list).

The "build these characters on the fly" Mia mentions is called "dynamic
composition." In principle, with a newer system that can position the
"combining diacritics" properly (e.g., cedilla or accent), this works fine. On
older systems, that's another matter - hence this discussion.

The issue of precomposed vs. dynamically composed characters has been somewhat
controversial in Africa (at least at one conference), with some arguing for
more precomposed characters in Unicode/ISO-10646. However it doesn't seem that
Unicode will change its decision not to add more precomposed Latin characters
and ultimately (eventually) the technology will render the issue moot.

Another issue is the order of diacritics added to the base characters, which can
be important for searching, sorting, etc.

Don Osborn

Quoting "MiaKalish at LFP" <MiaKalish at LEARNINGFORPEOPLE.US>:

> Hi, Keola,
> I don't know too much about Hawai'ian, except that its so beautiful.
> Can you give us a quick overview of how many letters are different and how
> different the glyphs are? For Apache, we have the en-yay (n with a tilde
> over it) and the voiceless l, both of which are available in UTF-8 and
> Unicode. But we also have upper-lower case vowels with both the acute accent
> and the cedilla, indicating nasalized, rising tone. The Unicode people have
> said that we can use the new script to build these characters on the fly,
> but the new script requires newer operating system capabilities, and has the
> usual platform problems.
> There's some Apache on the menus at
> There aren't any of these
> double characters, but you can see both the acute and the cedilla on the
> vowels.
> best,
> Mia
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Keola Donaghy" <keola at LEOKI.UHH.HAWAII.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, October 08, 2004 11:58 AM
> Subject: Re: New technology improves syllabics on the web (fwd)
> > FWIW, we used Glyphgate (previously Fairy) for Hawaiian several years ago
> > and worked with the developer to strengthen Hawaiian and Polynesian
> > support, but eventually abandoned it and just converted our site to
> > straight UTF-8. The company was very responsive and helpful, but I found
> > myself spending far too much time tweaking the settings for broswers that
> > did not require the plugin to display the language. Perhaps it's easier
> > now. If anyone wants more details feel free to contact me directly.
> >
> > Keola
> >
> > Indigenous Languages and Technology <ILAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU> writes:
> > >yes, i was impressed myself.  maybe it can be used to assist the
> > >readability of fonts for other indigenous languages and communities.
> >
> >
> > ========================================================================
> > Keola Donaghy
> > Assistant Professor of Hawaiian Studies
> > Ka Haka 'Ula O Ke'elikolani             keola at
> > University of Hawai'i at Hilo 
> > ========================================================================
> >

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