Archaic scripts (was: Re: New version:draft-ietf-idna-tables-01.txt)

Kenneth Whistler kenw at
Thu May 8 02:05:52 CEST 2008


If you're in the midst of trying to declare consensus on this,
I'll chime in quickly to indicate that I also totally disagree.
Michel has the right of this, and I'm not finding the arguments
at all cogent or convincing for redefining all the characters
for archaic scripts as PVALID instead of DISALLOWED.

By the way, this has nothing whatsoever to do with permitting
archaic *languages*..... this is all about including or
not including characters for archaic *scripts*.

Archaic (and dead) languages can usually be written just
fine with existing modern scripts -- examples: Classical Latin
(language) with the Latin script, Attic Greek (language)
with the Greek script, Middle Chinese (language) with
the Han script, and so on...

And so people are tending to mix up issues of language
revival with issues of writing system revival. The two
are completely distinct.

There are good, solid reasons why *all* of the cuneiform
writing systems are long dead and will *stay* dead. They
are writing systems for vanished technology: using styluses
to imprint wedges in handheld clay tablets. They were replaced,
thousands of years ago by modern technology, like ink and
papyrus! Nobody is going to revive cuneiform writing --
and the purpose of cuneiform in Unicode is to enable
computerization of cuneiform corpuses in a text form, not
to assist in cuneiform revivalist movements.

IMO, inclusion of cuneiform (and many other long-dead,
ancient scripts for archaic writing systems) in IDNs is
just silly.


> While it is too early to declare consensus I am hearing pretty
> cogent arguments for permitting archaic languages. V
> ----- Original Message -----

Michel said

> I totally disagree. To a large degree the IDNA2003 tenet of allowing 
everything but few characters is one of the reasons why we are going through 
this whole exercise of revising IDNA and excluding most non letters in IDNA 
2008. Question really is do we extend the symbol exclusion to extinct scripts.

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