The path to Unicode standardization #standardization


Nathan Galt
 

I have a couple of pages in the pipe for quikscript.net on the subject, but they’re not quite publication-ready at this point. I’ll start a proper new thread on the subject to properly open this can of worms again, but here’s a capsule summary, as I understand it:

  • In 2007, Michael Everson proposes Shavian Quikscript extensions. He notes that there are some letters that look identical or at least fairly similar in both Quikscript and Shavian and proposes a two-row set of extensions, plus angled parentheses. You can view it at https://www.quikscript.net/proposals/2007.pdf.
  • In 2013, Michael Everson has a second proposal. This proposal shoves the angled parentheses into the Miscellaneous Punctuation block and uses only one block of 16 (with room to spare) for the Quikscript letters. You can view it at https://www.quikscript.net/proposals/2013.pdf.
  • The 2013 proposal was controversial. Michael Everson seemed to think that reducing the block count would help it get accepted, especially since the Shavian proposal just squeaked in. I and other people thought that this was too unified and would make it difficult, if not impossible, to be able to develop good fonts that can display both Quikscript and Shavian at the same time.
  • Another person here whose name I forget said something like “Did the Consortium not learn anything in the Greek/Coptic disunification mess?” While an inside-baseball reference, I later learned that this captured the problem (from my view) nicely. It’s a massive pain in the rear to users of somewhat-different scripts to have to share characters, especially for the minority users. While I’m not sure we’re a numerical minority compared to Shavianists, we’re Johnny-come-latelies and I expect most every-script font (Noto Sans, Segoe UI Historic, etc.), to cater to Shavian tastes in letterforms first, leaving Quikscript users unable to have letterforms they use. https://www.unicode.org/L2/L2002/02205-n2444-coptic.pdf goes into some of the hassles Coptic readers and fontmakers have; I’ve made similar arguments arguing that I shouldn’t have to read Shavian's ·𐑱 as Quikscript’s ·Eight.
  • Between 2013 and now, I’ve developed better arguments in favor of maximally-disunified encodings, like “way more text sent/received these days isn’t sent with fonts under the sender’s or receiver’s control”. (I’ll go into this more for a later worm-can opening.)


On Nov 8, 2019, at 9:43 AM, Paige <paige@...> wrote:

Good to hear from you again, Michael.  I am in the same boat.  I have a number of Yahoo Groups as well, but they are all smaller than QS, and I can't afford nor justify the transfer fee for the rest of them.

I know there was talk about QS extensions back in 2013, and I would like to see that happen.  I am not knowledgeable about the process.  Perhaps you can point me to a site that could help me learn some of the basics.

Paige


John Cowan
 

The reason Coptic and Greek were disunified rather than just allowing fonts to make the distinction was that mixed Greek and Coptic in the same document is very common, especially in dictionaries and bilingual glosses.

How common are mixed Shavian and QS documents?

On Fri, Nov 8, 2019 at 3:23 PM Nathan Galt <mailinglists@...> wrote:
I have a couple of pages in the pipe for quikscript.net on the subject, but they’re not quite publication-ready at this point. I’ll start a proper new thread on the subject to properly open this can of worms again, but here’s a capsule summary, as I understand it:

  • In 2007, Michael Everson proposes Shavian Quikscript extensions. He notes that there are some letters that look identical or at least fairly similar in both Quikscript and Shavian and proposes a two-row set of extensions, plus angled parentheses. You can view it at https://www.quikscript.net/proposals/2007.pdf.
  • In 2013, Michael Everson has a second proposal. This proposal shoves the angled parentheses into the Miscellaneous Punctuation block and uses only one block of 16 (with room to spare) for the Quikscript letters. You can view it at https://www.quikscript.net/proposals/2013.pdf.
  • The 2013 proposal was controversial. Michael Everson seemed to think that reducing the block count would help it get accepted, especially since the Shavian proposal just squeaked in. I and other people thought that this was too unified and would make it difficult, if not impossible, to be able to develop good fonts that can display both Quikscript and Shavian at the same time.
  • Another person here whose name I forget said something like “Did the Consortium not learn anything in the Greek/Coptic disunification mess?” While an inside-baseball reference, I later learned that this captured the problem (from my view) nicely. It’s a massive pain in the rear to users of somewhat-different scripts to have to share characters, especially for the minority users. While I’m not sure we’re a numerical minority compared to Shavianists, we’re Johnny-come-latelies and I expect most every-script font (Noto Sans, Segoe UI Historic, etc.), to cater to Shavian tastes in letterforms first, leaving Quikscript users unable to have letterforms they use. https://www.unicode.org/L2/L2002/02205-n2444-coptic.pdf goes into some of the hassles Coptic readers and fontmakers have; I’ve made similar arguments arguing that I shouldn’t have to read Shavian's ·𐑱 as Quikscript’s ·Eight.
  • Between 2013 and now, I’ve developed better arguments in favor of maximally-disunified encodings, like “way more text sent/received these days isn’t sent with fonts under the sender’s or receiver’s control”. (I’ll go into this more for a later worm-can opening.)


On Nov 8, 2019, at 9:43 AM, Paige <paige@...> wrote:

Good to hear from you again, Michael.  I am in the same boat.  I have a number of Yahoo Groups as well, but they are all smaller than QS, and I can't afford nor justify the transfer fee for the rest of them.

I know there was talk about QS extensions back in 2013, and I would like to see that happen.  I am not knowledgeable about the process.  Perhaps you can point me to a site that could help me learn some of the basics.

Paige


Brad Neil
 

Hi all. If I may add my two cents to this discussion, I would also be in favour of the maximal dis-unification of Shavian and Quikscript characters.

As Kingsley Read wrote in the Quikscript Manual itself, "Apart from their having the same designer and similar style, they are different and separate alphabets." Besides reshuffling a number of identical letter shapes (which could result in confusion with a unified solution), Quikscript contains new letters ·Whitewheat, ·Loch, ·Llan, ·Axe, ·Exam; merges Shaw's ·𐑩 and ·𐑳; and eliminates the eight "compound letters". In my opinion, Quikscript and Shavian are only similar in the way that the Etruscan and Greek scripts were similar; they aren't two versions of the same script.

Inclusion in the Conscript Unicode Registry is a proven pathway to the official Unicode character set: Shavian and Deseret have both made the jump already. Even the Phaistos Disc script has done so, despite it only being represented on a single artifact! Quikscript actually has real people using it, today, around the world. Surely, if the Phaistos Disc can do it, Quikscript can.

It appears that getting registered in the CSUR is difficult to impossible, though. Even if it doesn't carry the same weight, I would personally love to see our Quikscript block submitted to Rebecca Bettencourt's Under-ConScript Unicode Registry. This would at least provide some semblance of (community) standardisation, and a mechanism to prevent different conscripts from occupying the same codepoints.

On that note, I noticed that the location currently used among the Quikscript community (E650-E67F) is already occupied in the UCSUR by another conscript called Sylabica. Would it be prudent for us to move somewhere else, perhaps the next available position: EB60-EB8F? It would be a very simple matter to create a conversion tool for existing texts, and I would be more than happy to modify the existing open-source fonts Thoth, Abbots Morton Experiment and Quikscript Sans.