--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:
> At 22:18 +0000 2004-06-04, suzmccarth wrote:
> > > You have just taken a giant step backward.
> >
> >A giant step sideways....towards something that will help the
> >of the system as well as the encoders.
> Who are these users and what kind of encoders are you talking

I believe that there are those in India who do not see the Indic
script support as suitable for mass digital literacy. The internet
functionality is there, the fonts, the rendering and shaping, the
appearance. However, for the semiliterate, who in English are
electronically literate - no. The semiliterate, if you like, are the

I simply want to suggest, as John Cowan earlier implied, that there
are really only two basic types of scripts, alphabets and
syllabaries. "Complex" scripts have now been assimilated to the
alphabets. Alphabets must segment and sequence in a linear fashion,
(any direction). If a writing system doesn't do that then it should
be considered a type of syllabary. If it can not be assimilated to
the syllabaries then it needs an input system that recognises the
syllabic level. The fact that the Tamil 12 x 18 array of syllables
exists and is in continued use as an instrument of literacy shows
that the Tamil people have themselves felt the need to organize
their system as a syllabary.

Maybe when I use the term encoders I really mean programmers.
However, when I used Asian input methods I thought that that kind of
treatment (encoding syllables) might have been made available for
the "complex" scripts, since I see them as part of the syllabaries.

Suzanne McCarthy

> Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com