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Update, please?

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    I notice with great interest that Elfconner Arden R. Smith sometimes appears on this list, sharing his considerable insight on Tolkien s writing systems (no,
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 4, 2001
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      I notice with great interest that Elfconner Arden R. Smith sometimes
      appears on this list, sharing his considerable insight on Tolkien's writing
      systems (no, I'm not being ironic...though we are getting there fast).
      Today is the four-year anniversary of TolkLang message 23.14 of February
      4th, 1997 -- authored by none other than Mr. Smith himself. Allow me to
      celebrate Smith's great efforts with a brief quote from this epistle of his
      (one should bear in mind that he was defending himself against the
      outrageous claim that he and his group are not particularly efficient
      publishers):

      > I have not been completely idle. Working through the documents relating
      to the writing systems -- deciphering them, putting them into a legible
      form, determining their place in the chronology, etc. -- is a
      time-consuming process. Rest assured that when such material does start
      appearing, it will be in large batches.

      Well. Since Mr. Smith wrote this, the time-consuming process has consumed
      another four years. The fact remains that we haven't seen even one "batch"
      (large or otherwise) -- let alone *several* batches. Now that Mr. Smith has
      spent forty-eight months not being completely idle, in addition to the
      comparable amount of time he had apparently spent on the manuscripts
      *before* he ever wrote the words above, perhaps we may have a little
      update? How are the "large batches" coming along, really? After 4(+++)
      years, is Smith finally able to state a deadline -- for the very first
      batch, at least? After all, I'm sure Mr. Smith wouldn't want us to "rest
      assured" until we slip into a coma.

      I asked Mr. Smith much the same question on the TolkLang list several years
      ago, but he declined to answer -- undoubtedly because he was spending every
      spare moment on Tolkien's manuscripts and didn't have time for "stupid
      questions" (as one of his co-workers so eloquently put it on another
      occasion...or so I am told). Yet the very fact that nowadays, Smith is able
      to make occasional contributions to the Elfscript list would seem to
      suggest that he could indeed find the time to provide us with a brief
      update. This matter is hardly off topic; to the members of this particular
      list, it should be of the utmost interest. So, Arden dearest, please do
      tell us: WHEN, really, can we expect to see the first of the "batches" of
      new information about Tolkien's writing systems that you promised us four
      years ago?

      - Helge Fauskanger
    • Michael Everson
      I found Helge s posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his time doing charity work
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 6, 2001
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        I found Helge's posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it
        tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his
        time doing charity work in the world of scripts and computing, I
        don't like to see other experts criticized that way. People have time
        to give away or they don't.
        --
        Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
        15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
        Mob +353 86 807 9169 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Vox +353 1 478 2597
        27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
      • Angasule
        ... I understand what you say, but you re missing a big part of the problem, I recommend you read Helge s article on copyright which tells the whole story. You
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 7, 2001
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          Michael Everson wrote:
          >
          > I found Helge's posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it
          > tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his
          > time doing charity work in the world of scripts and computing, I
          > don't like to see other experts criticized that way. People have time
          > to give away or they don't.
          I understand what you say, but you're missing a big part of the
          problem, I recommend you read Helge's article on copyright which tells
          the whole story. You can also check the archives of Elfling and
          Tolklang, no need to discuss the topic again, I think, unless something
          changes.
          Angasule
        • Edouard Kloczko
          ... It is extraordinary (o say the least!) that Mr. Arden Smith who has access to *thousands* of unpublished manuscrits pages by JRR Tolkien dealing with
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 8, 2001
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            --- Dans elfscript@e..., Angasule <angasule@p...> a écrit
            > Michael Everson wrote:
            > >
            > > I found Helge's posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it
            > > tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his
            > > time doing charity work in the world of scripts and computing, I
            > > don't like to see other experts criticized that way. People have time
            > > to give away or they don't.
            > I understand what you say, but you're missing a big part of the
            > problem, I recommend you read Helge's article on copyright which tells
            > the whole story. You can also check the archives of Elfling and
            > Tolklang, no need to discuss the topic again, I think, unless something
            > changes.
            > Angasule

            It is extraordinary (o say the least!) that Mr. Arden Smith who has
            access to *thousands* of unpublished manuscrits pages by JRR Tolkien
            dealing with tengwar and sarati still "talks" here as if he was
            "blind" having at disposal only the "printed" corpus.

            So who is _offensive_, I wonder?

            EJK
          • Mans Bjorkman
            ... And does anyone believe that this will change by being offensive back? I think most people are aware of this sad issue (if anyone isn t I second the
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 8, 2001
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              Edouard Kloczko wrote:
              >
              > --- Dans elfscript@e..., Angasule <angasule@p...> a écrit
              > > Michael Everson wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I found Helge's posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it
              > > > tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his
              > > > time doing charity work in the world of scripts and computing, I
              > > > don't like to see other experts criticized that way. People have time
              > > > to give away or they don't.
              > > I understand what you say, but you're missing a big part of the
              > > problem, I recommend you read Helge's article on copyright which tells
              > > the whole story. You can also check the archives of Elfling and
              > > Tolklang, no need to discuss the topic again, I think, unless something
              > > changes.
              > > Angasule
              >
              > It is extraordinary (o say the least!) that Mr. Arden Smith who has
              > access to *thousands* of unpublished manuscrits pages by JRR Tolkien
              > dealing with tengwar and sarati still "talks" here as if he was
              > "blind" having at disposal only the "printed" corpus.
              >
              > So who is _offensive_, I wonder?

              And does anyone believe that this will change by being offensive back?

              I think most people are aware of this sad issue (if anyone isn't I
              second the recommendation to read 'The Question of Copyright' on
              http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf) and what it did to TolkLang. Let's hope
              the same thing won't happen to ElfScript.


              Yours,
              Måns


              --
              Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
              Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
              SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
              Sweden http://hem.passagen.se/mansb An þer."
            • Michael Everson
              ... There is no link to that article from that page. -- Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie 15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach;
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 8, 2001
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                At 18:32 +0100 2001-02-08, Mans Bjorkman wrote:

                >And does anyone believe that this will change by being offensive back?
                >
                >I think most people are aware of this sad issue (if anyone isn't I
                >second the recommendation to read 'The Question of Copyright' on
                >http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf) and what it did to TolkLang. Let's hope
                >the same thing won't happen to ElfScript.

                There is no link to that article from that page.
                --
                Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
                15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
                Mob +353 86 807 9169 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Vox +353 1 478 2597
                27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
              • Angasule
                ... I recall it was removed from there some time ago (that s why I didn t give the link) but I think you can find it floating around in other sites. Angasule
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 8, 2001
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                  Michael Everson wrote:
                  >
                  > At 18:32 +0100 2001-02-08, Mans Bjorkman wrote:
                  >
                  > >And does anyone believe that this will change by being offensive back?
                  > >
                  > >I think most people are aware of this sad issue (if anyone isn't I
                  > >second the recommendation to read 'The Question of Copyright' on
                  > >http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf) and what it did to TolkLang. Let's hope
                  > >the same thing won't happen to ElfScript.
                  >
                  > There is no link to that article from that page.
                  I recall it was removed from there some time ago (that's why I didn't
                  give the link) but I think you can find it floating around in other
                  sites.
                  Angasule
                • Helge K. Fauskanger
                  ... Very well, but if they don t, it seems to me that they should not be involved in the publication of primary materials in the first place. They should step
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 12, 2001
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                    Michael Everson wrote:

                    > I found Helge's posting to Arden a bit offensive. Maybe he meant it
                    > tongue-in-cheek, but as someone who volunteers a great deal of his
                    > time doing charity work in the world of scripts and computing, I
                    > don't like to see other experts criticized that way. People have time
                    > to give away or they don't.

                    Very well, but if they don't, it seems to me that they should not be
                    involved in the publication of primary materials in the first place. They
                    should step down and turn the work over to people who actually have the
                    time to get it done.

                    Mr. Smith is of course not obliged to answer my question, and it seems he
                    doesn't intend to, but he must be aware that after all this time, his
                    flamboyant 1997 assurances about upcoming "large batches" of new info on
                    the writing systems begin to look disturbingly like a broken promise.

                    The next issue of Parma Eldalamberon (#13) would seem to be of particular
                    interest to us: if ever published, it would probably answer many of our
                    questions about Ruumilian writing. Elfconner Bill Welden wrote in a
                    TolkLang posting of December 18th, 1998: "The next issue of Parma will
                    contain materials from the 1920s on Gnomish and Ruumilian." On August 18th,
                    1999, Christopher Gilson sent me a letter saying that the Gnomish material
                    was nearly ready. Combining these two pieces of information, we *might*
                    conclude that when Parma #13 still has not appeared, it is because the
                    Ruumilian material remains unfinished. Ruumilian seems to be Smith's
                    jurisdiction, so perhaps he can tell us something about why we are still
                    waiting for an issue which Gilson originally suggested would be published
                    in 1997? (TolkLang posting 20.43, late 1996: "We plan to continue next year
                    with material from the 1920's, including fairly comprehensive grammars of
                    the two Elvish languages, AS WELL AS THE FIRST WORKING ON THE WRITING
                    SYSTEMS." - Emphasis added.)

                    In August 1999, I also asked Gilson, "If even a preposition gets out
                    without written permission from the Estate, [will you] have broken your
                    agreement with them?" (To make the question relevant for this list, read "a
                    single character" instead of "a preposition".) Gilson's answer was NO. So
                    Smith would hardly be breaking any agreement if he tells us (say) how
                    Ruumilian writing expresses labialized consonants, e.g. the _qu_ of Quenya.
                    But I guess he is not going to.

                    I can well understand why Ed Kloczko finds this whole business rather
                    offensive.

                    - Helge Fauskanger
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