Fwd: Malayalam splitting and 'VATTU'


Here is a message I've just received from an expert on the Malayalam script. (There's a typo in the second paragraph; the code in question is U+0D4C) I will check with the Unicode consortium about the status of the proposed change. The actual code change is trivial.


Delivered-To: jtcsv com-mader jtcsv com
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 04:51:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: Baiju M <malayalamlinux yahoo com>
Subject: Malayalam splitting and 'VATTU'
To: mader jtcsv com
Cc: malayalamlinux yahoogroups com

Helo Eric Mader,
                First of all thanks for adding Malayalam support
in pango module. Here I wish to piont out some mistakes in the

The spliting for U+0D0C (Malayalam Vovel sign AU) is not
I know the current unicode document clearly written like :

* pieces on both sides of the consonant.
= U+0D46 (consonat) U+0D57

But now we are not using taht shape.

Ministry of IT (Govt. of india), a member of Unicode consortium
has prosed for a change in Malayalam. They suggested to change
the shape of U+0D4C (no backward compatibility problem) as
Please see this document :


In the GPLed OTF font available at :
I changed the shape of U+0D4C

So if you are removing the splitting of that character, no
compatibiity problem will arise. Otherwise unicode support for
Malayalam will be useless.


 * FIXME: post 'GSUB' reordering of MATRA_PRE's for Malayalam
and Tamil
 * FIXME: reformed Malayalam needs to reorder VATTU to before
base glyph...
 * FIXME: eyelash RA only for Devanagari??


Don't reorder it like that, because the 'VATTU' formation is
different for different consonats. Most of that will be
(consonat) + U+0D31 (Dravida 'Madyamam')  (Sometime in future,
this only will be existing as our language eveloves)
And some consonats will be joining only with U+0D30 (A 'Madyamam
' derived from Sanscrit)
All Malayalam 'mrithus' are like this
eg:- U+0D17,U+0D1C,U+0D26 etc.

So this instruction can be given in GSUB tables using 'pres'
feature. (ofcource this will be a big table)

I am thinking about writing an input checker also for avoing
most of the errors.

Now I have given the instructions for five 'chillus' like :
(consonant) + (virama) + (ZWJ) in the font. And I have submitted
XKB and Compose file to Xfree86 for easy inputting of chillus as
per the keyboard layout prosed by kerala govt.
Malayalam LC_COLLATE is also based on this.

If our proposal is going to be accepted by Unicode consortium,
all these problems will be solved. But we can't wait till that,
we want to solve these problems with backward and forward

With thanks and regards,
Baiju M
P.S: I CC'ed this mail to malayalamlinux yahoogroups com (Our
project mailing list)

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