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RE: Call for NNBSP replacement character in Mongolian Block

From: Greg Eck <greck@postone.net>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 01:00:38 +0000
To: Andrew West <andrewcwest@gmail.com>
CC: "public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org" <public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org>, "Deborah W. Anderson" <dwanders@sonic.net>
Message-ID: <MWHPR10MB1677E0818C07D5F9C1037B31AFC80@MWHPR10MB1677.namprd10.prod.outlook.com>
Hi Andrew,

Yes, we can go with U+180F Mongolian Suffix Connector.
Orlog Ou will be presenting the proposal at WG2 this next week, so I will be sure to communicate that it is a format character and not a control character.
I am hoping that he can submit the formal proposal for this new Mongolian character before he leaves San Jose.
Is that reasonable that he could finish the documentation by the end of next week? - Assuming of course that we are agreed on all of the definition parameters.

On the definition, I have no experience in this area and imagine the same for many on this forum.
Could you help us to understand a bit more on the character specification?
What does the statement mean " as long as it has no compatibility decomposition to Space or any other character"?

Thanks,
Greg

>>>>>
From: Andrew West [mailto:andrewcwest@gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2016 5:51 PM
To: Greg Eck <greck@postone.net>
Cc: public-i18n-mongolian@w3.org; Deborah W. Anderson <dwanders@sonic.net>
Subject: Re: Call for NNBSP replacement character in Mongolian Block

Hi Greg,

I have reached the same conclusion as you regarding NNBSP, and agree that there will always be problems with it because it has different contradictory functions for Mongolian and not-Mongolian, and it has a compatibility mapping to U+0020 SPACE which encourages applications to treat it as an ordinary space.  I therefore strongly support your proposal to encode a dedicated character in the Mongolian block.  I think that this should be made our top priority, and if nothing else is achieved at next week's WG2 meeting I hope we can get agreement on the replacement for NNBSP. If that is possible, then the proposal can be put to the November UTC meeting, and it may just be able to squeeze into Unicode 10.0 in July 2017.

"I am calling for a new control character "Mongolian Suffix Connector"
placed at U+181A "

1. Why not U+180F? That would be next to MVS, and in a contiguous range of five VS and format characters, which seems more logical that 181A.

2. I think the name Mongolian Suffix Connector is OK, and like that it denotes that it joins not separates.

3. In Unicode terminology it would be a format character not a control character, so in the proposal be careful to call it a format character to avoid confusion.  It could be defined as a space character (general
category=Zs) as long as it has no compatibility decomposition to Space or any other character, but I prefer to define it as a format character (general category=Cf) as its job is to modify the shaping of adjacent characters.  The proposal should list all the required Unicode properties for the new character.

I think that this change will not be as disruptive as (for example) the proposal to replace MVS with two new characters as fonts can continue to support NNBSP for compatibility with existing data as well as supporting the new character.  As NNBSP is ignored anyway in many contexts, including web searches, replacing it with a new format character (which will also probably be ignored for web searches), should mean that  functions such as web searches will not be adversely affected by the introduction of the new character.  In short, I think that the benefits of encoding a new character considerably outweigh the problems.  Moreover, fixing this issue once and for all will be a big step forwards towards getting Unicode Mongolian accepted by the user community.

Andrew
>>>>>
Received on Friday, 23 September 2016 01:01:11 UTC

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