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Reader's Post: “Microsoft and Unicode - Unicode is No Longer Open Standard?”

Metal A



Summary: Microsoft accused of harming Unicode, causing problems for the Indian population

A reader from India informs us about the following incident:

Recent issues in Malayalam Language encoding associated with Unicode are getting worser. The Unicode decisions are not at all open and meeting minutes not published on time (see http://www.unicode.org/consortium/utc-minutes). Recently a Microsoft representative argued for a change in encoding of a letter sequence in Malayalam to hide the big in their Kartika font and UTC approved it.

And it broke all backward compatibility policy of Unicode, violated the linguistic rules of language and completely contrary to what being taught in schools.

More details available in Praveen's blog post linked [below].

[The] Blog post questions the "open standard" status of Unicode


From the post our reader cites:

A standardization body like UTC or ISO earns respect and trust based on the integrity of the process. After Microsoft was able to push OOXML through ISO resorting to all kind of underground tactics, ISO cannot expect to receive the same kind of respect and trust from users of their standards. Some of the recent decisions made by UTC (Microsoft nta for example) have contributed to this erosion of trust in standardization bodies.

[...]

7. No consideration for logic of the language

‘nta’ was encoded to be compatible with Microsoft’s Karthika font which did not recognise the logical sequence of ‘na chandrakala rra’. Instead it was encoded as ‘chillu na chandrakala rra’ forgetting the very function of a chillu character, which is to prevent forming conjucts when a sequence would otherwise form a conjunct.


A lot more information is available in the original post. This is a very important issue which has not been noticed by the English-speaking press.

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