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UNICODE  October 2002

UNICODE October 2002

Subject:

Re: Representation of fractional numeric values missing from Unicode

From:

Patrick Rourke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

For issues pertaining to ancient languages <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 Oct 2002 21:44:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (181 lines)

The PUA most certainly shouldn't be used for "missing" characters in
the ultimate markup text; PUA code points are inconveniently even more
conventional (i.e., less fixed) than Unicode code points. I'd use named
entities for these, then, and define them in terms of betacode escape
characters when available (or from a citation to a print publication if
not). They should only be rendered to PUA points if a font is available
for the user community that provides that mapping, and then only in a
rendered page (e.g., the HTML product of an XSLT transformation).

For abbreviations and ligatures, I've been thinking that folks should
encode the value of the abbreviation in the text, but mark that value
up as an element with an attribute indicating the name of the
abbreviation; and would suggest that these be rendered as entities with
names equal to the attribute value of the element given (for TEI, I
don't remember what the abbr element would be, without looking it up).
One would only use the PUA for those occasions when a single-glyph
rendering is necessary.

For instance, <abbreviation name="pi with medial
circle">poihth/s</abbreviation> for the abbreviation for poihth/s /
poi/hma on p. 85 Thompson, or <abbreviation
name="chi-rho">xro/nos</abbreviation> for the chi-rho (though there's
probably a chi-rho character for Christian use).  These could be
rendered as &piwithmedialcircle; and &chirho; , e.g., and then mapped
to a PUA code point for use with specialized fonts.

It's an ugly issue, but I think that abbreviations are different from
such glyphs as fractional numbers.  Fractional numbers make sense as
Unicode characters, while other abbreviations (I'm talking about e.g.
the lists in Thompson) do not. I've been working on some guidelines for
these issues, but with my time limitations it has been rough going.

Deborah has heard this from me before, and probably others.  I'd be
interested in others' comments on this.



On Monday, October 7, 2002, at 05:19 PM, Deborah W. Anderson wrote:

> Dear Neel,
> The question of exactly how to handle characters (still) missing from
> Unicode (or those liable never to be accepted, such as abbreviations)
> is
> being discussed by the TEI Character Set group now. Actually, there
> will
> be meeting later this week in Chicago to discuss it.
>
> Ideas that have surfaced include: (a) using the Unicode Private Use
> Area, (b) entities, (c) converting the attribute value into an element
> so markup can be use to indicate a particular glyph.
> The latest suggestion (from Martin Duerst, yesterday) is to use a PUA
> character surrounded by an element giving the necessary information on
> the character, i.e.,
> <glyph moreInfoHere='URI'>PUA</glyph>
> The markup above could also be <character ...>...</character>, and the
> <glyph> element can also be used around predefined Unicode characters.
>
> Methods used elsewhere include using Scalar Vector Graphics (with
> SVGFont) or, for MathML, an <mglyph> element, by which users can
> directly access glyphs for characters not yet in Unicode or unknown to
> the renderer. It can also be used to select glyphs for existing Unicode
> characters.
>
> I would say that no firm guidelines have yet been put forward from TEI.
>
> BTW, regarding your question on how non-Unicode characters
> might most effectively be displayed using *any* kind of character set,
> can you give me an example of what you mean?
> So, for example, you are using Beta Code as your underlying
> representation and you want to convert it to ISO_8859-7 (or some other
> entry found on http://www.iana.org/assignments/character-sets) ? Or do
> you mean font?
>
> Debbie
>
> Deborah Anderson
> Researcher, Dept. of Linguistics
> UC Berkeley
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discussion of text markup issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Neel Smith
> Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 8:02 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Representation of fractional numeric values
>
> I'm seeking advice on how to mark up texts that include characters
> representing fractional values such as the sign for 1/2 that roughly
> resembles a < sign.
>
> At the level of TEI markup, this is no problem -- something like
> (pardon
> syntax errors -- this is off the top the head with no docs in front of
> me):
> <num type="fraction" value="0.5">...</num> works fine.
>
> If the recently discussed TLG Unicode proposal eventually goes through,
> a
> character for this will be defined in Unicode.  That will be nice.
>
> But even though I use Unicode for surface display of Greek, I actually
> prefer beta code for underlying representation.  (Not intended as
> flamebait.)  The TLG conventions for beta code do not include such
> characters in the basic character set:  they require TLG "escape
> sequences."
>
> What do people think is the best way to encode such characters in the
> here
> and now when they are not yet in Unicode, and not part of the TLG basic
> character set for beta code?
>
> (And for extra credit, does anyone have suggestions on how such
> characters
> might most effedtively be displayed using *any* kind of character set
> --
> not necessarily the same one used for underlying representation.)
>
> Thanks in advance for any ideas,
>
> Neel Smith
>
> ____________________________________
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