User talk:BabelStone/Archive 2008

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Minority scripts in Unicode[edit]

There's a reason many more scripts are encoded than were ever first envisaged.... -- Evertype· 15:10, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

...and I'm speaking to him right now ;-) -- BabelStone (talk) 16:10, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


Hi you wrote There is no evidence that go originated "centuries before its earliest known references", and the earliest references do not certainly refer to go. Do you happen to have the exact text of this earliest reference? I thought consensus was established on this reference, now I am intrigued.--ZincBelief (talk) 15:13, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Check out my page on the origins of go. There is also discussion of this issue at Talk:Go_ranks_and_ratings#Attribution_to_.222th_century.22. The problems with the earliest references is that they use the character yi 弈 which later means "to play go" but which at that time may not have referred to go; and as these references only mention the game, but don't descibe it, it is not possible to rely on them. The earliest archeological evidence only goes back about 2,000 years. BabelStone (talk) 15:28, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Thomas Hyde[edit]

You have added mention of Thomas Hyde's "De Circumveniendi Ludo Chinensium" to both the Go (board game) and History of Go pages, but I do not feel that it deserves special mention. For one, it is not really the first description in a European language, that would be the 1610 "Della entrata della Compagnia di Giesu e Christianita nell China" by Mateo Ricci. And furthermore, it can sadly also not be considered "detailed", as the text makes it evident that Hyde did not really understand the game. As such, Korschelts work remains the first "detailed description", and the first that gets the rules correct so that Western play could develop. For more on this, I can recommend the work of Jaap K. Blom originally published in Go World 27 and later included in The Go Players Almanac, which contains many scans of these old manuscripts. HermanHiddema (talk) 17:46, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I think that Hyde is the first detailed description (several pages), with illustrations of a board and how a stone is captured. The fact that Hyde does not fully understand the game is not relevant -- it does introduce the game to a European readership. But it doesn't bother me if you want to remove it. BabelStone (talk) 23:37, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

My point is that the explanation of the rules is incomplete, and so although it does reach a European readership, it does not enable them to play the game. As such, although it is certainly more detailed than Ricci's earlier mention, it isn't much better. I think it would be good to mention Korschelt as the first "complete" description in the main Go article, and to expand the History of Go article to include mention of Ricci (as well as e.g. Leibniz). I will work on it when I get back from my holidays :-) HermanHiddema (talk) 07:57, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The reason that I mentioned Hyde is that the article originally implies that Go was unknown in the West before the late 19th century, and I think that it ought to at least mention that Go has been known (if not played) in the West for over 300 years. So I agree with any suggestion to expand the article to discuss early reference to Go. However I disagree with you that Hyde's description is not much better than Ricci's. I don't have Ricci's work to hand but iirc he only mentions the game briefly. Hyde devotes several pages to the game, and provides a drawing of a board, an illustration showing an "eye", and (badly written but legible) Chinese characters for some of the key terms. His description may not be good enough to allow readers to get a good enough understanding of the game to actually play it (but then many hours with the Brooklyn Go Club learning the fundamental rules and the complex etiquette of the game may not be enough either), but it is enough for readers to basically understand what the game is about, and to be able to recognise a game of Go if they saw it. I maintain that Hyde is the most important Western writer on Go in the 17th/18th centuries, and should be mentioned prominently. BabelStone (talk) 12:11, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

The implication that the game was unknown in the west before Korschelt is certainly wrong, a more correct way to put this would be something like "Although descriptions of the game were known in the west since the early 17th century, the rules for the game were only introduced at the end of the 19th century, when...", etc. Ricci's passage is indeed brief (mentioning a board of 300 "rooms" played upon with black and white disk with the purpose of controlling more rooms), as those of many other writers in the 17th century (many basing their work on that of Ricci and Trigault). Hyde's is certainly more detailed, but the reason I didn't consider it it much "better" was because it fails to explain the rules. If I am not mistaken, the Hyde text in fact implies that players move their stones, only putting new ones on the board when they need them. So although Hyde is certainly worth mention as part of the 17th/18th century history of go, I wouldn't go as far as give him any special status as the "most important" writer on this subject. HermanHiddema (talk) 14:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I think "Although descriptions of the game were known in the west since the early 17th century, the rules for the game were only introduced at the end of the 19th century, when...", etc. is OK for the main page, but we should go into more detail on the History of Go page. I have just made a transcription of the De Circumveniendi Ludo Chinensium section of Hyde 1694, and put it on my web site so that people can judge for themselves whether it is of value or not. My Latin is not so good, so if anyone wants to help me with a translation of this text I would be most grateful. BabelStone (talk) 00:09, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and if we need a reference to support my statement about the importance of Hyde's description of Go, we could use A Collection of Qian Zhongshu's English Essays (2008) page 99. BabelStone (talk) 00:15, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Table of Unicode scripts[edit]

I just saw the table you added to Unicode scripts. That's a great resource. Its very helpful especially when the Wikipedia articles on a writing system does not match the Unicode chosen script name. But the other information is great to have all in one place too. Nice work! Indexheavy (talk) 07:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! BabelStone (talk) 14:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Re:Apostrophe in Wylie Transliteration[edit]

Chris, do you know what the correct character is to use for the apostrophe in Wylie transliteration? The Wylie transliteration article uses an ordinary ASCII apostrophe, and I think that most articles that give Wylie transliteration of Tibetan names also use the plain ASCII apostrophe. However, the article on the 'Phags-pa script uses U+2019 (Right Single Quotation Mark), which I think is wrong --- although your reproduction of Wylie's original article also uses U+2019. For typographical correctness I would think that U+02BC (Modifier Letter Apostrophe) should be used, but I think that for Wikipedia a plain ASCII apostrophe (U+0027) is best. If you have any suggestions for the correct transliteration of the script name 'Phags-pa please add something to the 'Phags-pa script discussion. BabelStone (talk) 09:07, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Since it seems T.V. Wylie avoided any characters not available on an American typewriter keyboard, ASCII apostrophe / straight single quote (U+0027) may be correct. However when published I think his original HJOAS article was typeset with an apostrophe which, in the typesetting of the time is often indistinguishable from –or the same as– a right closing quotation mark. (I don't have the original here, but I know that I tried to make my copy of his article as close as I could to the original). Since ASCII apostrophe gets changed when using a word-processor with “smart quotes” turned on, imo it is best avoided when “Wylie” is used in articles destined to appear in print. Occasionally ASCII apostrophe has problems in Wikipedia where ' is a component in Wiki markup. Right single quotation mark also has problems since it can also unexpectedly get changed to a left single quotation mark by word-processors with automatic quotes turned on – even while doing search and replace. With Unicode U+02BC MODIFIER LETTER APOSTROPHE is probably the best choice for printed articles, since it is unlikely to get changed. But U+02BC it is not ideal where Wylie is being used as an input method since it is not easily available on most keyboards - probably best to stick with U+0027 in an IME. Where possible I think software designed to convert from Wylie to Unicode should try to handle all the different characters that might be used. As far as Unicode names, we used "-" in names of Tibetan characters to represent the character U+0F60 TIBETAN LETTER -A. Chris Fynn (talk) 10:16, 24 September 2008 (UTC)