[sw-l] Unicode

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Mon Dec 13 15:24:09 UTC 2004

Well, I have had some discussions with people who are actively involved
with Unicode proposals with non-Roman languages.  This is what I
understand needs to be done. I am still dialoguing with them about how
we can get these things sorted out.

1) We need to determine what is the linear encoding of SignWriting. How
will the SignWriting be stored? That will let us know if there are any
other "formatting" symbols that need to be taken into consideration. A
linear encoding does not preclude the use of SWML. In fact, where SWML
now specifies a string for the symbol, a Unicode character for that SW
symbol can be placed there. That would reduce some of the size of SWML.

2) We need to determine the functional load placed on the various
elements of the process.  How much does the font do?  How much does the
renderer do?  For example, if the renderer can handle the rotations,
then why put that into the font? We have to assess the pros and cons to
put the load here or there. Another example might be the various sizes
of arrows.  Is that something that should be in the font or is that
something the renderer handles as a % of the size of the regular arrow?
Those are some of the discussions necessary.

3) Once that is all determined, then we need to discuss with the
Unicode people about assigning enough points for SignWriting. Then, we
need to create the font that has all the symbols we have determined
need to be in the system and develop the rules for the renderers so
they can render SignWriting. Then programmers can work with the
rendering engines and the rules that have been defined and not have to
work with the details of rendering quite as much.



On Dec 11, 2004, at 17:03, Stephen Slevinski wrote:

> Based on my assessment, three things need to happen.
> First, the IMWA needs a home in Unicode.
> ----------------------------------------
> Unicode contains 17 planes.  Plane 0 is the Basic Multilingual Plane
> (BMP).
> Plane 1 is the Supplementary Multilingual Plane (SMP). Plane 2 is the
> Supplementary Ideographic Plane (SIP). Plane 14 is the Supplementary
> Special-Purpose Plane (SSP). Planes 15 and 16 are the Private Use
> Planes.
> The other planes (3-13) are currently unassigned, and will probably
> remain
> that way until Planes 1, 2, and 14 start to fill up.
> Currently SignWriting has been given rows D8, D9, DA, DB in plane 1:
> Supplementary Multilingual Plane. Since each row contains 256
> characters,
> SignWriting has been allocated 1024 characters.  This is not enough.
> The best case is that the IMWA is assigned plane 3.  The IMWA contains
> about
> 25 thousand characters.  This number will increase by several thousand
> in
> the near future.  The upper limit on the IMWA is not know.  When more
> characters are needed, they will be added.
> So I assume the first step would be working with Michael Everson to get
> plane 3 assigned to the IMWA.  I don't know Michael's fees, and I
> don't know
> how to persuade the Unicode consortium to hand over an entire plane
> when
> planes 1,2, and 14 are not yet full.
> Second, create an encoding scheme between Unicode and SSS
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> We need to map the IMWA onto Unicode.  Since the IMWA will grow over
> time,
> we need to leave blanks in the encoding.  This encoding needs to be
> bi-directional: from Unicode to SSS and from SSS to Unicode.
> Example:
> Unicode character 1005 on plane 3 = SSS 02-01-001-01-03-01
> SSS 06-01-003-01-03-06 = Unicode character 4564 on plane 3
> Most applications that use Unicode will need to be able to implement
> this
> encoding scheme, so simplicity (or an available code library) will be
> needed.
> Third, create the font
> ----------------------
> The last step is straightforward.  Every character in the IMWA is
> converted
> to a font and assigned the corresponding Unicode id.  It should be
> possible
> to automate this process initially.  But future fonts will need to be
> recreated by hand.
> In theory, we can skip step 1 and complete steps 2 and 3.  Since no
> one is
> officially using plane 3, we can always get approval after we have it
> working.  But I don't know the politics involved.
>> From what I've been able to put together, I think that's it.
> -Stephen
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> [mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu]On Behalf Of Sandy Fleming
> Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2004 4:11 PM
> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Subject: [sw-l] Unicode
> Stuart wrote:
>> There is plenty of space in Unicode for all of the IMWA. I was talking
>> with some people who are involved with Unicode for non-Roman languages
>> and I asked that specific question. And they said it would be no
>> problem technically.  We just have to do the work to finish what
>> Valerie and Michael Everson began.
> So what do we actually have to do?
> Sandy

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