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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/WSI_Guidelines

Guidelines for Writing System Support

Victor Gaultney, 2003-10-31

From January to October of 2003, SIL International was engaged in a cooperative project with  UNESCO as part of UNESCO’s  Initiative B@bel effort. The goal was to enable the development of complex script support in information and communication technologies (ICTs). This was done through preparation of documents to guide development, technical tools for complex script support, and two example script implementations. All of these are available from a general UNESCO page.

This is the primary document of the project, and describes the key issues around supporting complex scripts in ICTs. It is intended as a guide to the planning and development of writing system implementations. It introduces a model for writing system implementations, outlines the development process, and highlights keys to project success.

These Guidelines are written primarily for policy makers and professionals, but includes introductory technical material in later sections. This covers important topics regarding encoding, keyboarding and rendering. It gives specific guidance on working with Unicode™, including how to propose new characters for submission.

The complete document is available on these pages, but can also be downloaded in both Word and PDF formats:

Guidelines for Writing System Support - Word
Victor Gaultney, 2003-10-31
Download "Guidelines_Word.zip", ZIP archive, 1MB [5100 downloads]
Guidelines for Writing System Support - PDF
Victor Gaultney, 2003-10-31
Download "guidelines_pdf.pdf", Acrobat PDF document, 2MB [10325 downloads]

Introductory sections

Section 1: Components of a Writing System Implementation

Section 2: The Process of WSI Development

Section 3: Roles and Actors

Section 4: Keys to Success

Technical sections

Section 5: Technical Details: Characters, Codepoints, Glyphs

Section 6: Technical Details: Encoding and Unicode

Section 7: Technical Details: Data Entry and Editing

Section 8: Technical Details: Glyph Design

Section 9: Technical Details: Smart Rendering

End matter

Glossary

The Word and PDF versions also include a comprehensive Index.

Copyright notice

(c) Copyright 2003 UNESCO and SIL International Inc.


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