[Wikimediaindia-l] (OT) On the importance of Unicode

BalaSundaraRaman sundarbecse at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 17 07:05:20 UTC 2011

Hi Gautam,

I have some points to share, but got to go back to work now.
Can I get back on this later?

- Sundar

 "That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for 
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture

----- Original Message ----
> From: Gautam John <gautam at prathambooks.org>
> To: Discussion list on Indian language projects of Wikimedia. 
><wikimediaindia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Sent: Thu, February 17, 2011 11:29:27 AM
> Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] (OT) On the importance of Unicode
> Hey Everyone:
> This one isn't directly connected with Wikimedia projects  but is,
> IMHO, one element of any Wikimedia project in India -  Unicode.
> I'm trying to bring together some ideas as to why Unicode  is
> important, what the upsides and downsides are. My initial  thoughts:
> 1. While there are many ways to achieve a legal framework  for
> inter-operable content (CC, GFDL, PD or the Copyright Act  Amendment
> for the PI) etc. there needs to be a technical framework for  such
> interoperability as well.
> 2. Given that we publish in Indian  languages, using Unicode fonts are
> the only way to achieve cross-platform  interoperability and is a
> global standard.
> 3. Given India's push towards  copyright reform for the print impaired,
> it is imperative that Unicode fonts  be used in the creation of Indic
> content because it is otherwise a huge  barrier to conversion to
> print-friendly formats.
> 4. Unicode, being an open  global standard guarantees content
> accessibility in the future and ensures no  proprietary font and vendor
> lock in.
> 5. The limitation is on the lack of  high quality and varied typefaces
> that are both screen and print optimised  open type Indic Unicode
> fonts.
> 6. Given the importance of linguistic  diversity to India's cultural
> heritage, it is imperative that greater  attention is paid to the
> development of such fonts under licenses that allow  for free re-use
> and to fix issues in the fonts that might arise.
> 7. The  Govt. should fund the open development of at least 5 such fonts
> for each the  21 Constitutionally recognised languages and make these
> available not just  for free, but under free license to re-use and
> improve as well.
> 8. The GoI  has recognised this and notified Unicode 5.1.0 as the
> de-facto standard for  all eGovernance projects. This standard needs to
> be more widely adopted for  all Government digital projects and any
> software or content procurement as  well.
> Would love to hear your thoughts.
> Thank  you.
> Best,
> Gautam
> ________
> http://social.prathambooks.org/
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