consensus Call: TATWEEL

Ebw ebw at
Sun Mar 29 17:51:47 CEST 2009


Thank you for your thoughtfull reading. The multi-level or descending  
interactions, as well as the descending baseline, are what I want to  
make certain we are not accidently making difficult.

I've not yet contacted Milo, though I've reviewed his, and Butros'  
works to expand my understanding of the problem, for which we have to  
leave the code points minimally necessary.


Sent from my iPhone, painfully.

On Mar 29, 2009, at 3:12 AM, "Martin J. Dürst"  
<duerst at> wrote:

> Hello Eric,
> I understand you are concerned that Tatweel might be needed for the
> ability to render Arabic script in a falling rather than horizontal
> style, and that there might be other 'characters' needed for high-
> quality rendering.
> As far as I understand from Tom Milo, a top expert in Arabic  
> typography
> implementations, really good Arabic typography requires a lot of
> contextual rules. But he never mentioned the Tatweel.
> The more I think about it, the more I actually get the impression that
> the Tatweel is very much linked to horizontal/linear Arabic rendering,
> and not of much use if any for falling or other higher-level kinds
> of renderings. Even for horizontal rendering, the Tatweel is nothing
> more than a crude clutch, as Ken already said.
> Regards,    Martin.
> On 2009/03/23 8:25, Ebw wrote:
>> John,
>> It is clear from your response that you didn't see where my concern
>> lies. If, in our choices of allowable code points, we constrain  
>> Arabic
>> (and Farsi and ...) to choices which look correct to Latin
>> expectations, non-descending rather than descending, inaesthetically
>> dense rather than combining and extended, to "2nd gen" computer  
>> Arabic
>> (and ...) -- then we may be "solving" one problem by creating  
>> another.
>> The choice of which "harm" to choose is easy if all we know is one
>> "harm", and easier when that "harm" is "spoofing" (or last year's
>> child porn or the year before that's Arab terrorist or the year  
>> before
>> that's WMD), but we do have the choice to ask if the people who  
>> create
>> the basic tools for writing Arabic (and ...) need what we are asked  
>> to
>> ban, and because of our shared Latin (and other scripts lacking one  
>> or
>> both of the properties, descent and vertical and horizontal
>> interaction) limitations, simply fail to appreciate.
>> If you really do think this is "bold" and "italic" you simply aren't
>> getting it.
>> Eric
>> Sent from my iPhone, painfully.
>> On Mar 22, 2009, at 3:41 PM, John C Klensin<klensin at>  wrote:
>>> --On Sunday, March 22, 2009 11:43 -0500 Ebw
>>> <ebw at>  wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> I propose we ask modern (3rd gen) Arabic (and Farsi, etc)
>>>> typographers   for guidance. I'm not certain the UTC
>>>> motivation is sufficient, nor am   I certain the ASIWG, the
>>>> process of which I find insufficiently   trasparent, and
>>>> unacceptably vendor-specific, hasn't overlooked use in   their
>>>> excessively narrow construction of text labels as "necessary
>>>> words" with the excessive constraints arise from the incorrect
>>>> statement of purpose.
>>> Eric,
>>> "Consult typographers" sets off an alarm for me.   Unicode isn't
>>> supposed to be about typography and certainly domain names
>>> historically have not been.   If we do get ourselves into a
>>> situation in which we are consulting typographers, don't we need
>>> to go back and examine the list of Unicode compatibility
>>> characters  --many of which seem to be about typographic and
>>> other subtle variations on base characters -- to figure out
>>> which ones the typographers think should be distinguishable
>>> characters (not mapped or prohibited)?
>>> For example, I would certainly like boldface and italics in my
>>> domain names, even though I recognize that they would cause far
>>> more confusion and problems than they could possibly be worth.
>>> I'd also like to be able to utilize the full range of variations
>>> and artistry in, e.g., Arabic and Chinese calligraphy.  And I'd
>>> like a pony :-(
>>> Vint,
>>> Yes. I agree with disallowing Tatweel and its N'Ko counterpart.
>>> I do not believe that we should disallow one and not the other.
>>>    john
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