1) dynamic composition - building something from smaller parts.
2) visual decomposition - breaking something down into smaller
3) syntactic decomposition -
construction rules for identification.
I've read a lot of the Unicode documents: official documents as
primary, technical notes as secondary, and critics as third. I've
interacted with several types of Unicode people. I believe I have a
good understanding of what Unicode was in the past and what Unicode
I know what Unicode says on paper, but I don't know the inner circle
of the committee process and I don't know the existing font
It is impossible to have a perfect solution for Unicode that
satisfies every principle and ideal. Any encoding process will
begin with 1 major principle, and everything flows from that.
The Unicode experts, from day 1, started from a different founding
principle: they understood visual decomposition. I tried to explain
my syntactic decomposition, but was told it would never make it
For the past 2 years, I've had a series of compromises with the
Unicode process. I'm only happy about the first compromise. We
encode the symbols before the script. This compromise still seems
to be holding.
The preliminary Proposal incorrectly explained the syntactic
encoding design. A committee member noticed the disparity and asked
for clarification. A problematic compromise was suggested and
quickly adopted to continue the committee process. Just last month,
this compromise failed and there is no proposal design.
For SignWriting in Unicode, the idea of visual decomposition is in
the initial stages. They have not met reality. They do not have a
font and they have not processed text. I do not know how quickly
their encoding will mature. I'm assuming they'll have several
intermediate phases, rather than just throw something together to
submit in February.
Visual decomposition may integrate well with existing font
technologies, but visual decomposition is a subset of the higher
Unicode principle of dynamic composition.