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Archive for May, 2008

This is an explanation and/or constructive criticism on some claims made on the already standardized Sinhala Unicode system.

Claims

1) The letters like “ඩු” (DU) has not been stored in UNICODE. Instead it creates ඩු (DU) in this way = ඩ + පාපිල්ල = ඩු (DA + Papilla = DU) which is wrong!

2) All letters that can be created by adding පිලි (Pili) and යංශය (Yanshaya) should also be stored individually in UNICODE.

3) There’s an “IT security threat” in Sinhala Unicode! “Same strings gives two different characters in different browsers”.

Explanations

1) Yes. “ඩු” (DU) and other similar letters do exist in UNICODE. As we learnt in හෝඩිය පන්තිය (Nursery School), “ඩු” (DU) is created by adding a පාපිල්ල (Papilla) to letter ඩ (DA).

Therefore the Sinhala UNICODE system works just like that way understanding ඩ + පාපිල්ල = ඩු (DA + Papilla = DU).

A person who has learnt Sinhala language well enough knows this theory and there’s nothing wrong in representing the same thing in UNICODE as well.

2) This could be called somewhat “ridicules”! Does a calculator have a key for number 10? No! Why?

Because, you don’t ask a key for 10 as you can create 10 by pressing 1 and 0.

Therefore when there are ways to create “ඩු” (DU) as ඩ + පාපිල්ල = ඩු (DA + Papilla = DU), you don’t ask for separate “ඩු” (DU) character to be stored. It is Unnecessary.

3) Yes! There are some known problems in current versions of Firefox (FF 2.x and below) web browser in displaying very few Sinhala letters (Ex: Shri). But this has already been fixed in next version of Firefox which will become the mainstream browser of the Internet very soon. (Download Firefox 3)

What is not understandable is how this can be a Security Threat! I found a table of computer security threats. After googling a bit found a match there. It is called Human Error!

As per claims, the word SRI is written / displayed in different ways. I think this should be deliberately enabled anyway.

For instance, say a person really wants to write SRI in a different way. How can he write it if the language doesn’t allow him?

The freedom of using characters / words in the way they want should be given. It’s the user’s responsibility to do it in the correct way. This is comparable in this way that “Everyone is free to write anything in a blog! But one has to be honest enough to choose whether to highlight things wrongly for his or her own goodwill or not.

Moreover, there are claims that Sinhala text cannot be copied from Internet Explorer web browser and pasted into MS Word correctly (Copy from IE to MS Word). This is false. See how I have copied some Sinhala text from IE to MS Word.

However there are some speculations saying that there are ulterior motives and hidden agendas behind these claims. I’m not discussing those here or I’m not targeting anyone. But when there are things that mislead people, someone should correct it.

Listed below are some more valuable posts from Anuradha containing technical details with good arguments regarding the same issue.

Is Sinhala Unicode incomplete

Mr Donald please correct alphabet first

Unicode and Sinhala alphabet

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In this strange country..

No ugly Art, can win national prizes!

No disoriented Dance, can entertain mass public!

No horrible Film, can break box office records!

But,

Any terrible song, can hit all TV / radio stations overnight!

An amateur who cannot sing even the 7 major notes, can become the most popular!

Any voiceless person, can record his own album and feature in newspapers!

Any sponsor-greedy TV channel can start Not-So-Realistic Reality Show and proudly select Super Stars that last no more than 6 months!

Any incompetent person, declaring to have “Visharad” or “Nipun”, can judge so called Music Reality Shows!

මේ අමුතු රටේ..

කිසිම අප්‍රසන්න චිත්‍රයක් ජාතික සම්මාන දිනන්නේ නැත!

කිසිම අවලක්ශන නැටුමක් ජනතාව පිනවන්නේ නැත!

කිසිම අමන චිත්‍රපටයක් වාර්තා තබන්නේ නැත!

නමුත්,

ඕනෑම අමිහිරි ගීතයක්,
රූපවාහිනිය / ගුවන්විදුලිය සොලවන්නත සමත්ය!

ස්වර සප්තකයවත් ගායනාකිරීමට බැරි ඕනැම අදක්ශයෙක්ට,
ජනප්‍රියම ගායකයා විය හැක!

ඕනෑම ගොලුවෙකුට,
තමන්ගේම ගීත එකතුවක් එලිදක්වා පත්‍ර වල මුල් පිටු සැරසීමට පිලිවන!

ඕනෑම කෑදර රූපවාහිනී ආයතනයට,
කියන-තරම්-ඇත්තක්-නැති නමුත් නමට Reality Show පවත්වා
“මාස හයේ සුපිරි තරු”, සාඩම්බරයෙන් දැයට දායාද කල හැක!

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