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On 21 February 2016 at 20:49, Siva Kalyan
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> May I suggest something like Devanagari, whose top-line would help with letter alignment?

That would make things easier. A simplified or otherwise evolved
Devanagari could be written in all kinds of crazy shapes with the
top-line showing what order you're supposed to read in and the local
character orientations.

One can get away with something much more subtle, though. For many
applications, you don't even need to ensure that all the letters are
unique under rotation, as long as enough of them are- even English can
be read upside-down, backwards, and in circles without too much
effort, with letters like <p> vs. <d> easily distinguished by context.
I expect you'd want to avoid that in a script explicitly designed for
orientation-agnosticism, though, if only so that you could
unambiguously label things with individual letters.

For maximal flexibility in character design, you just have to have
some signification of which direction a character is to be read in,
which could simply be independently defined for every character... or,
if you want to make things *really* difficult on the reader, but still
uniquely decipherable, inferred from the shape of the text on the
page, regardless of the orientations of individual characters.

One reasonable compromise between ease of reading and flexibility in
character design, which is the approach used by Circular Gallifreyan,
is a cursive script where the direction in which a character is read,
and the direction of the text, is determined by where and how each
character connects to its neighbors.

Incidentally, mirror image characters should be fine, as long as they
can't be rotated into each other in a plane. It might be a good idea
to avoid those kinds of characters anyway, though, if not using a
really obvious orientation marker like the Devanagari top-line.

-l.

>> On 22 Feb 2016, at 11:41 AM, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> So, a while back I read a tutorial on calligraphy with Gallifreyan
>> circular writing from Doctor Who. Circular Gallifreyan looks pretty
>> darn cool, which is all you need to fulfill its purpose for the show,
>> but it got me wondering about in what circumstances such a writing
>> system would actually be more practical than something more... normal.
>>
>> After a bit of pondering, it occurred to me that writing in circles,
>> rather than rows of straight lines, would make perfect sense for a
>> culture that lives in zero-g, with no preferred orientation or
>> inclination to impose any common orientation; a sentence written in a
>> circle has no right-side-up or upside-down, and it doesn't matter that
>> you have to be able to recognize every symbol in any orientation
>> because that is already the case if you have no conventional
>> orientation in which you "ought" to be positioned relative to your
>> reading materials anyway. And a circular writing direction is further
>> motivated by the fact that pressure vessels (such as habitable
>> spacecraft are made of) tend to be spherical or cylindrical, and have
>> circular doors and hatches in them.
>>
>> For longer texts that don't fit on a single circumference of a circle,
>> one can introduce line breaks by, instead of moving up, down, or
>> across the page. moving inwards or outwards. Writing in a spiral would
>> allow you to keep a long paragraph on a single logical "line", not
>> having to introduce a line break until you actually run out of page.
>>
>> I have yet to design a script like this yet, but I'm keeping it in
>> mind for future SF writing purposes, and perhaps someone else will be
>> inspired by the idea.
>>
>> -l.