What do you think of the terminology in this appendix to an article
on keyboariding in Indic? Of course, the comparisons are not complete
but compositional syllabic notation captures the features nicely.
Especially when he talks abaout display in the traditional syllabic
script. Note. I do not want to mix the 'syllabary' with the syllabic
sacript' which is used by almost everyone who talks about Indic
scripts. Let's just admit they are syllabic scripts.


"While addressing the questions related to display, keyboarding, and
processing of text, it is important to understand that even though our
script is syllabic in nature, the syllables (aksharas) are constructed
out of basic vowels and consonents (varna). Thus, it should be called
compositional syllabic notation, to differentiate it from some other
scripts of the world, say, Chinese, where each word is written as
a different picture (not composed of anything more basic). For

(syllabic notation) (alphabetic notation)
³ Ì ÑÚ = ³èè + ¤ + Ìèè + ¤ + Ñèè + ¥
ka ma lA k a m a l A

(alphabetic) (mixed) (syllabic)
×ÛÄèÅ: ×èè + ¦ + Äèè + Åèè + ¤ = × + Û + ÄèÅ = ×Û + ÄèÅ
siddha s i d dh a s i ddh si ddh

Thus, on the one hand there are all the advantages of the
alphabetic notation (such as, linearity, a small alphabet, easy
learnability) on the other hand, the syllabic notation is more
compact to write and easier to read (after a slightly longer
training). In fact, the difficulty with a mechanical typewriter
appears only because we set our goals higher: syllabic printing.
The alphabetic notation was always available and posed no problem
as far as typewriting was concerned. That this was never adopted in
typewriting has reasons about which can only speculate. (One
reason perhaps was the general environment prevailing in India which
was not conducive to flexibility, experiments and new ideas. Another
reason might be that the best is at times the enemy of the good. The
"best" (represented by syllabic script) was not possible to produce
satisfactorily with the mechanical technology, and the "good"
(alphabetic notation) was not accepted because it is inferior to
the former, to which everyone was used to, with the handwritten
characters. These are speculative thoughts.)

The breakthrough with electronic technology is that it allows one to
combine the two: input or keyboarding can be in pure alphabetic
or mixed syllabic notation where the conjunct consonents are naturally
typed separately by the use of halant mark, but the display can be in
the customary syllabic script. Thus, it is possible to get advantages
of both."