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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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The list could go on and on and on. But I will update this when I find something interested to put. Always welcome your comments and suggestions.

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