Michael Everson (born January 9, 1963) is an American and Irish linguist, script encoder, typesetter, and font designer. His central area of expertise is with writing systems of the world, specifically in the representation of these systems in formats for computer and digital media. He holds both American and Irish citizenship.
He has been described as "probably the world's leading expert in the computer encoding of scripts" for his work to add a wide variety of scripts and characters to the Universal Character Set. Since 1993, he has written over two hundred proposals which have added thousands of characters to ISO/IEC 10646 and The Unicode Standard.
Everson was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and moved to Tucson, Arizona at the age of 12. His interest in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien led him to study Old English and then other Germanic languages. He read German, Spanish, and French for his B.A. at the University of Arizona (1985), and the History of Religions and Indo-European linguistics for his M.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles (1988). In 1989, his former professor Marija Gimbutas asked him to read a paper on Basque mythology at an Indo-Europeanist Conference held in Ireland; shortly thereafter he moved to Dublin, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar in the Faculty of Celtic Studies, University College Dublin (1991). He became a naturalized Irish citizen in 2000. He currently lives in Lecanvey, west of Westport, County Mayo. He is a nontheistic Buddhist.
Everson is active in supporting minority-language communities, especially in the fields of character encoding standardization and internationalization. In addition to being one of the primary contributing editors of the Unicode Standard, he is also a contributing editor to ISO/IEC 10646, registrar for ISO 15924, and subtag reviewer for BCP 47. He has contributed to the encoding of many scripts and characters in those standards, receiving the Unicode "Bulldog" Award in 2000 for his technical contributions to the development and promotion of the Unicode Standard. In 2004, Everson was appointed convenor of ISO TC46/WG3 (Conversion of Written Languages), which is responsible for transliteration standards.
Encoding of scripts
Everson has been actively involved in the encoding of many scripts in the Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 standards, including Avestan, Balinese, Bamum, Bassa Vah, Batak, Braille, Brāhmī, Buginese, Buhid, Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, Carian, Cham, Cherokee, Coptic, Cuneiform, Cypriot, Deseret, Duployan, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Elbasan, Ethiopic, Georgian, Glagolitic, Gothic, Hanunóo, Imperial Aramaic, Inscriptional Pahlavi, Inscriptional Parthian, Javanese, Kayah Li, Khmer, Lepcha, Limbu, Linear A, Linear B, Lycian, Lydian, Mandaic, Manichaean, Meitei Mayek, Mongolian, Mro, Myanmar, Nabataean, New Tai Lue, N'Ko, Ogham, Ol Chiki, Old Hungarian, Old Italic, Old North Arabian, Old Persian, Old South Arabian, Old Turkic, Osmanya, Palmyrene, Phaistos Disc, Phoenician, Rejang, Runic, Samaritan, Saurashtra, Shavian, Sinhala, Sundanese, Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Tai Le, Tai Tham, Thaana, Tibetan, Ugaritic, Vai, and Yi, as well as many characters belonging to the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Arabic scripts.
In 1995 he designed the Unicode font, Everson Mono, a monospaced typeface with more than 4,800 characters. This font was the third Unicode-encoded font to contain a large number of characters from many character blocks, after Lucida Sans Unicode and Unihan font (both 1993). In 2007 he was commissioned by the International Association of Coptic Studies to create a standard free Unicode 5.1 font for Coptic, Antinoou, using the Sahidic style.
Conscript Unicode Registry
Together with John Cowan, he is also responsible for the ConScript Unicode Registry, a project to coordinate the mapping of artificial scripts into the Unicode Private Use Area. Among the scripts "encoded" in the CSUR, Shavian and Deseret were eventually formally adopted into Unicode; two other conscripts under consideration are Tolkien's scripts of Tengwar and Cirth.
Language and locale information
Everson has also created locale and language information for many languages, from support for the Irish language and the other Celtic languages to the minority Languages of Finland. In 2000, together with Trond Trosterud, he co-authored Software localization into Nynorsk Norwegian, a report commissioned by the Norwegian Language Council. In 2003 he was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to prepare a report on the computer locale requirements for the major languages of Afghanistan (Pashto, Dari, and Uzbek), co-authored by Roozbeh Pournader, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Communications of the Afghan Transitional Islamic Administration. More recently, UNESCO's Initiative B@bel funded Everson's work to encode the N'Ko and Balinese scripts.
Work on a standard for Cornish
In 2007 he co-authored a proposal for a new standard written form of Cornish, called Kernowek Standard. Following the publication of the Standard Written Form in 2008, Everson and a group of other users examined the specification and implemented a set of corrections to it, publishing a formal specification in 2012.
Publishing at Evertype
Another noteworthy project are his publications of translations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in many languages, amongst which minority languages and constructed languages. Translations are available in Cornish, Esperanto, French, German, Hawaiian, Irish, Italian, Jèrriais, Latin, Lingua Franca Nova, Low German, Manx, Mennonite Low German, Borain Picard, Scots, Shavian transliteration, Swedish, Ulster Scots and Welsh and several other translations are being prepared.
- Erard, Michael (2003-09-25). "For the World's ABC's, He Makes 1's and 0's". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
- Michael Everson (2007-01-27). "Papers formally submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2". Evertype.
- "Evertype: About Michael Everson". Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "ISO 15924 Registration Authority". ISO, Unicode, Inc., & Evertype. 2004.
- "The Bulldog Award". Unicode, Inc.
- Dalebüd Cifala, 2012 yulul 1, no. 1
- Michael Everson (2009-03-19). "Papers formally submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 (Universal Character Set)". Evertype.
- Antinoou, a standard font for Coptic
- Michael Everson (1997-03-14). "Sami locales". Evertype.
- Everson, Michael; Roozbeh Pournader (2003-07-29). "Computer Locale Requirements for Afghanistan" (PDF). Evertype.
- Lepage, Marc (April–June 2003). "Afghans beat language obstacle to entering digital age" (PDF). Poverty Alleviation Initiatives (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) 13 (2).
- "UNESCO B@bel Initiative". Portal.unesco.org. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "Development of a Unicode standard for the West African Language N'ko". Multilingualism in Cyberspace. UNESCO. 2004-11-12.
- A proposed standard written form of Cornish
- Williams, Nicholas. 2012. Desky Kernowek: A Complete Guide to Cornish. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-904808-99-2
- Michael Everson (2006-10-05). "Books typeset by Michael Everson". Evertype.
- Wonderland and Carrolliana
- Evertype.com, Michael Everson's web site
- An interview with Michael Everson by Dick Gordon on The Connection, a National Public Radio public affairs call-in program
- The Unicode Consortium
- Dork Forest interview by Jackie Kashian, 2012-09-18