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Re: XML Blueberry (non-ASCII name characters in Japan)

  • From: John Cowan <jcowan@r...>
  • To: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@m...>
  • Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 17:31:16 -0400

ascii art japan
Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

 >> Greeks want to write Greek in the Greek script.
 >> Wherefore it is encoded in Unicode and other encodings, and
 >> allowed in XML names.
 > But these are not the same thing. Greek was in Unicode 2.0, and
 > therefore could be included in XML names without significant cost.

I have already addressed this finders-keepers-losers-weepers

 > But the
 > question we have to answer today is whether there is sufficient
 > benefit to adding the Yi script today, to justify breaking the
 > entire existing XML infrastructure, and introducing more
 > incompatibility into the XML world.

I think you exaggerate the degree of non-uniformity.  There are
already a lot of options in XML processing.

 > Given that the Yi language can
 > be used in XML markup today, even if the Yi script can't, I don't
 > think the possible benefits outweigh the costs.

There is a lot of benefit to Yi users, and some disbenefit to
programmers and their employers.  Short of a pure market
mechanism (in which case nothing but Latin and perhaps Japanese
would have made it in at all), how are we to compare these
benefits and disbenefits?

 > Do you really think that all 800 million Spanish speakers are going
 > to start writing markup in Spanish? That all one billion Chinese
 > speakers are going to start writing markup in Chinese? It's
 > ridiculous to assume that more than a tiny minority of speakers are
 > going to write markup in any language, no matter how well
 > supported.

It's ridiculous to suppose that I meant anything of the sort.
There is all the difference in the world between "few, by choice"
and "none at all, by compulsion".

If I were a regular user of XML and one of the affected languages,
I would insist that the parsers available to me allowed markup
in my language, and the XML Recommendation be damned.  (There
are non-conformant parsers such as Aelfred that can do the job.)
Since I would probably not be able to vote with my wallet, I
would have to rely on those with deeper wallets, or louder
voices, to get the job done.

 > OK. So propose an alternative. How do you suggest proving that
 > there's a genuine need to write markup in these scripts?

I think that talk of *need* is misconceived; as I said, there is
no *need* to have Greek, much less Thaana, markup.  People *want*
to use their own language, that's all.  Why should the "newer"
script users be exempt from this desire?

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan@r...>
no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein


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