el-latn, ru-latn, and related possibilities

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at alvestrand.no
Thu Oct 6 08:45:37 CEST 2005

--On onsdag, oktober 05, 2005 12:24:35 -0700 Tex Texin <tex at yahoo-inc.com> 

> Guys, sorry to be the odd man out yet again, but we should first run
> through all the use cases before deciding that transliteration can be
> pushed down the stack. This argument sounds to me more like a
> rationalization for continuing with 3066bis than to really address the
> question.

I certainly hope that 3066bis is cooked now.... no matter what else, it's 
time to drive a stake in the ground and say "here's the starting point for 
further work".... it's been long enough (langtags-00: December 2003).

> Text to voice is important for accessibility. Identification of the
> transliteration scheme would be a prominent requirement and perhaps
> therefore ru-Latn is not sufficient and should not be recommended as
> adequate.

You raise an interesting point, which is actually pertinent to LTRU's 
remaining deliverable - the matching draft.

When you have a specific document in a transliterated format that you want 
to read through text-to-speech, you need to know (or guess) what the 
transliteration scheme is. But in searching for documents, it's less 
obvious that you want to specify this information before knowing what's 
available; when reading up on Chinese history sitting at an ASCII terminal, 
would you reject a document transcribed into Wade-Giles if there's no 
Pinyin version available?

But (this is a matter of 1766-era philosophy) one of the reasons why I 
designed 1766 the way it was designed was to give people the freedom to 
"put their money where their mouth is" - if they think a certain tag or tag 
combination is needed, let them go through the work of deciding exactly 
what they need, documenting that to this list and defending it - and then 
using it, and showing the world that usage will happen. Designs based on 
hypothetical needs is less likely to succeed than designs based on 
experience - and the experience with 1766/3066 led to the community 
deciding that generativity was good and script belonged in language tags - 

If someone thinks they (and not some abstract "someone") need 
transliteration identifiers in language tags, let them propose them. And 
then we can try them.


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