[sw-l] IMWA & Language-Specific Symbolsets

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Thu Jun 23 16:00:37 UTC 2005

See comments below ...

On Jun 23, 2005, at 10:37, Valerie Sutton wrote:

>> On Jun 22, 2005, at 1:13 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> I think your specific symbol set is a good idea.  However, from what
>> I understand about Unicode and its philosophy, they do not group
>> things by language, but by writing system.  For example, even though
>> most European languages use the Latin alphabet plus a certain range
>> of diacritic markings, there is only one encoding for all of those
>> symbols. In other words, Unicode is a repository of symbols that any
>> language can utilize to express itself and everyone knows what symbol
>> you are talking about. If my understanding is correct, it would be
>> better as far as Unicode is concerned to have the whole IMWA.
> OK. So there is Unicode for the Roman Alphabet. But that does not
> include Musical Notes. The Unicode for Musical Notes is a separate
> Unicode, right?

Not exactly.  You can think of Unicode as an "IMWA" for all writing
systems.  In other words, Unicode wants to have a number for every
symbol of every active (or in use) writing system used by people. Each
writing system has one or more ranges of numbers within the Unicode
numbering system.

> So you could argue that we have subsets of the International Movement
> Writing Alphabet...
> International SignWriting Alphabet
> International DanceWriting Alphabet
> etc...

Each of those could be placed in a different range of numbers certainly.

> and those each could have their own Unicode?

But it would not be a separate Unicode.  They would just have their own
space or the same space within the Unicode numbering system.

> We already got approval from the Unicode committee to place
> SignWriting in Unicode, and DanceWriting was not included in that
> acceptance...so it could be possible...

I'm sure that if we explain how your movement writing system (IMWA) has
a consistent flow across  domains (DanceWriting, SignWriting, etc.),
then it will make sense to include DanceWriting with the SignWriting.
The key is that we have to do the homework to figure out the best way
of representing SW in Unicode (i.e., everything in the font, or let the
renderer do some of the work, or whatever).



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