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UTC # 74 - Unconfirmed Minutes


For the main part of the minutes of the UTC #74 & L2 #171 joint meetings, please see here.

X3L2/97-282 R

Preliminary Minutes - UTC #74 & L2 #171 joint meeting on default ordering Mountain View, CA - December 5, 1997

Minutes from the December 5th meeting with Guest: Alain LaBonte'

Note: The following notes are a summary of notes taken by Winkler, L2; Aliprand, UTC; and Oesterle (Unicode staff)

1.Administrative Issues

1A. UTC Membership Roll Call, Friday, December 5

PRESENT: Apple Computer, Inc.; Digital Equipment Corporation; Hewlett-Packard Company; IBM Corporation; Microsoft Corporation; Novell, Inc.; Oracle Corporation; The Research Libraries Group, Inc.; Sybase, Inc.; Unisys Corporation. (Total present: 10)

NOT PRESENT: Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc.; Justsystem Corporation; NCR Corporation; Reuters, Ltd.; Silicon Graphics, Inc.; Sun Microsystems, Inc; Xerox Corporation.

LIST OF ATTENDEES: See appendix below


Guest: Alain LaBonte ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 is the Subcommittee for Programming Languages, their environments and system software interfaces. Its Working Group WG20 deals with internationalization.

One of WG20's projects is ISO/IEC FCD 14651, International String Ordering. (FCD =3D Final Committee Draft). Alain LaBonte is the Project Editor.

The Chair greeted Alain LaBonte, who was attending the meeting as an invited guest. She then invited Arnold Winkler, WG20 Convener, to give an overview of the issues.

International sort with default order. Based on method for Canada. There exist differences in perception of the Unicode Consortium and WG20.

There also exists a question about the mechanics of default ordering. Face-to-face meeting was arranged with Mr. LaBonte to resolve these differences, and seek common agreement.

Scope for international collation standard is at issue. What should be covered? See Document L2/97-280, "Default Unicode Collation", for summary.

1. Want to emphasize "complete." Part of criticism of 14651 was that some chunks had been left out. 2. Unicode requirement for resolution on canonical equivalencies and compatibility equivalencies. 3. No significant difference here. Exact details are different. 4. Rules relating string length and weight levels. 5. Tailoring: Scope and rules

LaBonte: Key construction is no longer normative - has been removed to informative annex. Difficulty is in the format of the tables - WG20 has Posix format, Unicode has weighted tables.

Whistler: Critique of API. "complete list is needed, 14561 has holes in its tables, especially the canonical equivalence of combining characters. Overspecification of ordering method should not be normative; APIs are left to the implementers, as is the ordering method.

It seems that there should be two standards, one for the APIs and the other for the default order.

LaBonte: Part of standard. Could this be split later into separate standards?

Whistler: Speaking as a vendor, cannot use the API. Am implementing cross-platform.

Freytag: Shows parentage. The vendor community needs a standard that transcends a particular sub-context (even one that is well established). Collation part of standard. Vendors don't require the APIs, but look at the result. Cross platform implementations do not allow fixed APIs as part of

the standard.

McGowan: Within the Unicode community, have typically stayed away from APIs because much work is cross-platform.

Ksar: Request for status?

LaBonte: FCD ballot ends in April 30, 1998. Has not yet been approved. Cannot modify draft at this stage. New version tries to answer all comments.

Ksar: Not a standard yet. Still under development. Is possible to utilize feedback on CD plus FCD - split into two different parts: collation and maybe a TR on needs of various APIs. Has been done in

various cases.

LaBonte: Will be easier to have two different conformance standards.

Ksar: 1. Forces collation and 2. Not a standard. TR has APIs, which are implementation specific. APIs are language dependent.

Freytag: There is a family of languages which are similar enough, that a binding can be written to cross but there are other languages that are different from their predecessors. Taking API and converting to Java is the wrong thing to do.

Umamaheswaran: This is an SC22 issue. We can say we suggest splitting into two documents. Separate API but don't go as far as TR. Ask SC22 to take a harder look at what is really needed by industry.

McGowan: Fundamental requirements: One single default collation for Unicode/10646. Fatal to have two standards. Corporate stance is that there can be only one standard. We have entered that age of diplomacy. We have to find a diplomatic solution.

Whistler: Different point of view. There is no way to conceivably get collating through ISO requirements.

Umamaheswaran: What are requirements for default? Which are correctable - information needed vs. resolution needed. (break)

Whistler: Three levels plus last level. Java uses four levels. No intent to go more levels.

Umamaheswaran: Could be done with more levels.

Whistler: I'm not arguing for more levels. [Here's] the problem I'm having... p10-11 actual implementation specified ways of using table to convert for

key cap construction for a Java implementation and Sybase.

Davis: Order is not "random." It is arbitrary after the fourth level.

Whistler: I want all Unicode characters weighted at all levels.

LaBonte: If we want to be compatible with SC22...

Freytag: The tail is wagging the dog. We don't want to think about language bindings, focus on ordering. Not relevant to business practice. We are trying to put it on table to come up with an elegant solution.

LaBonte: Both are as elegant as the other.

Umamaheswaran: There is a problem...

Whistler: Doesn't provide a complete solution.

Davis: Characters it doesn't know about it says it can ignore. This is wrong. Sets whole classes of characters as ignorable. Doesn't take canonical and compatibility mappings in Unicode into account.

Umamaheswaran: Our disagreement seems to be standard and requirements needed.

LaBonte: The Scandinavians don't want decompositions. Only thing we can say is to avoid double coding

Whistler: String ordering - can be ignored by those who don't care.

LaBonte: Separate that - doesn't belong to ordering

O'Donnell: Yes it does!

Freytag: For us to have a standard that does not describe string sorting is unacceptable. It's absolutely fundamental.

Aliprand: European libraries use non-spacing characters, i.e., decomposition techniques. The Scandinavians are ignoring of their constituencies.

Davis: Need a standard to implement Unicode.

O'Donnell: Two standards?

Davis: No one I know is using 10646 without using Unicode.

Freytag: Let us try to agree on content of technical agreement, with how to ignore features. Can we in this room come up with an agreement? Instead of second guessing what others - Scandinavians - might want.

LaBonte: Coding issue does not belong in 14561.

Ksar: If we establish goal - "standard for Unicode/10646" - that is a noble goal. We need to come to agreement on contents of what that standard is. Specify all of the possible characters -including canonical and equivalence - in one standard. There is no reason to have two! Those who don't use... part of standard, not part of conformance.

O'Donnell: The fact of the matter is that it has these equivalencies and allows combining. Equivalences must be handled -the standard cannot be silent on this issue.

Davis: [explains the equivalence problems with A-ring, Angstroem, upper and lower case.]

LaBonte: Does not describe equivalencies.

Aliprand: Should say something explicitly.

LaBonte: Coding issue - should be a different standard.

Davis: Is everyone up to speed? Levels are the same in the two standards o nce you deal with ignorables. Level 1 pass - alpha level; level 2 - accent; level 3 -case distinction...

Texin: Focuses on first level or all the detail...As an impelementer, I need more. A class of ignorables makes my job simpler. UTC tables - meta table "here is precise description". Specification that has both.

Kernaghan: Compromise 10646. Value of table - very valuable. In Unicode 2.1 we could define.

Texin: Both are complete for scope.

Aliprand: ISO 5426 is widely used in Europe. Is the character set for UNIMARC which is used for library data exchange. As a compromise, must handle non-spacing marks.

Umamaheswaran: Requirement for default?

* Script vs. language Weighting of 14651 of sorting is to language and not script orientation * API split off [Solution: Recommendation from L2 to WG20 to split off the APIs from the tables. * Missing characters or incorrect characters * Incomplete weights for ignorables * Incorrect characters (LaBonte: No wrong characters) * Numeric issues sorted on first level. * Canonical equivalences * Consistancy with Unicode properties and decompositions * Concept of tailorability

Davis: If we are talking about scope... specify how characters sort. Better to say we don't know how to handle, such as Devanagari.

LaBonte: Tried to harmonize six languages. Not a default. They want "template" not "default."

Whistler: That is part of thing that bothers me. We get hung up upon terminology. Methodology. Two core data files. Unidata.txt - is Unicode chars in primary sort. Many ignorable characters need to be weighted with respect to each other. Requirement for handling ignorables is not being met. Also disagreement re canonical equivalence.

Ksar: Concept of tailorability. Define collation to have in a neutral way

for the implementers.

Freytag: Default of Unicode, you must use tailoring.

LaBonte: Now 14651, must do something in tailoring.

Whistler: Biggest issue are Cyrillic and Latin. No particulars; not to any language on first level.

O'Donnell: Fundamental difference.

Whistler: Script neutral.

McGowan: Difference in default behavior.

LaBonte: 14651 has gone away from that.

McGowan: Need for default without tailoring

Freytag: Toggles needed.

LaBonte: You have to make a choice. The philosophy we took is better but

we are moving away because are required choice.

McGowan: It is unacceptable to not have a defined standard.

LaBonte: If you don't make a choice you get an error.

McGowan: That is unacceptable.

Moore: Defined - specified neutral.

Joan: Script neutral.

LaBonte: From outside point of view - not neutral

Davis: I agree with Alain. Less important issue. Idea is complete, unambiguous specification.

LaBonte: Implementers are not users who are the key input.

Whistler: 14561 does not meet requirements of Unicode implementers. It may mean that we don't have an international standard.

Davis: I would rather have two standards with one of them right. Massive tailoring of 14561. Unicode Standard can be massive tailoring.

LaBonte: Would be in favor of the later in a separate standard. Europeans don't want use of combining characters.

Whistler: Similar to Everson's recent comments and comments on Hebrew accents. Can be ignored.

UTC opinion: Canonical equivalence is essential part of sorting standard.

Davis: Seems like only resource would be to publish a UTR for sorting for Unicode. Unless we can come up with something that correctly allows you to sort Unicode, the standard can't be used. Try to agree on contents of technical description. Can we in this room agree? Take up separate phase, persuasion of other countries to ignore features.

Ksar: Establish goal that we want to have one standard, not multiples. Encompass all of characters in Unicode, meets all needs. Should encompass all features.

Davis: Believe that once you resolve ignorables, levels are equivalent in both proposals.

LaBonte: That is so.

Texin: Needs complete and precise description. Needs to satisfy my markets. Good compromise: UTC tables as meta-level. Specifications should have meta-level, and then a practical default table. Could we look at least in a little more detail? Which are correctable and which de we need to resolve.

Which are which?

Umamaheswaran: Split off API


[#74-M 11 ] MOTION: That L2 write a contribution to SC22 to make APIs as a separate work. Moved by Umamaheswaran, seconded by O'Donnel Approved by Consensus


ACTION L2-168 for (to be assigned): Write contribution to SC22 recommending that the APIs in FCD 14651 be made a separate work item.

ACTION 74-35 for UTC Members: When L2 does this, contract national body members to solicit support for the recommendation that the APIs in FCD 14651 be made a separate work item.

Davis: Let's produce a document that outlines the issues. Particular differences that we see. Suggest this be completely tabled - re script based vs. language based.

Whistler: Most important issue is canonical equivalence.

LaBonte: To make neutral must make choice and tailor...

Freytag: Clarify tailoring. Analogy: Pre-set toggle switches vs Feeding data tape with tables.Unicode case - tape you provide

is never at zero length; plus you need to throw toggle switches. Table of information vs preset yes/no. (e.g. case/case insensitive) 14561 - throw toggle switches only.

Texin: What is ISO using for case rules?

LaBonte: These are based on names of characters.

Freytag: Would you fix any discrepancies between Unicode and 14561?

LaBonte: Absolutely.

Ksar: Wants to see feedback from WG20 re script-based principles.

LaBonte: Not an issue.

Unicode requirement -- by consensus. Contribution to WG20 - document important differences. Request that these must be rectified.

Freytag: Script based allows 1) agreement with Unicode properties, 2) decomposition, and be 3) automatable to allow maintenance with respect to weights in general.

Davis: Numeric version (based upon earlier CD) needs fixes. Cases where 14561 disagrees with Unicode. To do so, we need a usable version of 14561. Have a program based upon an earlier version of 14561. Will Alain correct Mark's version?

LaBonte: Will provide update with FCD changes.


ACTION 74-36 for Davis: Send numeric version of keys for 14651 based on earlier CD to LaBonte

ACTION 74-37 for LaBonte: Provide update with FCD changes to Whistler.

ACTION 74-38 for Umamaheswaran: Check with Austin-IBM to see if they can generate set of numeric keys.

[ACTION 74-36 and 74-38 superseded by Whistler's action to send numeric of keys based on the FCD to LaBonte.DONE]

Regarding Properties:

Whistler: Sifter so there is a consistent treatment. Problem with arbitrary assignment of particular values can run up against properties. Example: Japanese NSB requirement. Not a problem for Kana. Also implies combining marks in Japanese punctuation. cf . earlier version of 10646 - cannot be amalgamation of national practices.

McGowan: Requirement to be consistent with Unicode properties.

LaBonte: Application dependent...

Whistler: Roman numerals are worst case situation.

Davis: Even if dumb, we don't care; but do if not consistent.Anything in 14561 that appears numeric, should be sorted by 0 through 9.

Umamaheswaran: Recommend to L2.


RECOMMENDATION to L2 for WG20: The options for digits in 14561 is to sort in numerical order vs. sort 0-9 digits by default, but all other numeric values otherwise. Is partially related to equivalence issue. Note that current treatment of digits is in violation of UTC requirement of consistency with

Unicode properties. Therefore, L2 should propose an amended set of weights for digits or numeric characters; and propose addition of informative annex to the CD that gives existing weights that can be used for tailoring. Provide data for this. Agreed by consensus.

Whistler: Problem of handing all this over to WG.

LaBonte: Someone has to do the job. If not you than me. Someone has to do the changes. If you do it, your errors, not mine.

Umamaheswaran: All I hear is a request for help.

Missing Characters: Input to WG20 is needed for Indic scripts, Thai, Lao, Tibetan, etc. Chinese compatibility characters. Submission will include specified ordering for these. Requirement for hangul syllabic forms and jamo canonical equivalence sequences. This should be a separate submission since Korean: needs to have a specified order. Combining characters are all being treated as special in CD 14561.

Whistler: Indic is full of combining marks.

LaBonte: If it is a matter of moving from 4th level to first, then provide me the data and no one will object.

Whistler: The answer in Java is that we decompose so it's not a problem - after we decompose.

Pre-composed vs. Combined If you don't recognize the combining characters, you will sort improperly.

McGowan: Standard has to specify correct algorithm.

LaBonte: ISO said they didn't want to deal with level 2 or 3.

Winkler: Decision in Copenhagen had nothing to do with data.

Whistler: You don't have to totally decompose.

Davis: We have to make a contribution that corrects the algorithm so that it works. What should be the algorithm's result? Specify same results no matter which algorithm is used.


ACTION 74-39 for Davis: Draw up, with Whistler and LaBont=E9: 1) new draft of algorithm that takes into account Canonical equivalence. 2)Look into conformance implications and draft additional text, if necessary. By January 31, 1998 for review at Feb UTC. After done, L2 submission to WG20

Umamaheswaran: Can ligatures be handled in data file - yes.

LaBonte: It is important that ignorables be predictable.

Dingbats, etc. : Sharp and flat should be treated as special letters. True dingbats are ignorable. Needs more work. Tailoring can be done, but this group has skill and experience to do preliminary list.


ACTION 74-40 for Aliprand/Winkler: Put revision of international sorting algorithm on agenda for February UTC/L2 joint meeting

ACTION 74-41 for Whistler: Look at miscellaneous symbols to do first cut re their sorting

APPENDIX 1 December 5, 1997 UTC/L2 Discussion with Alain LaBontE, Government du Quebec on International String Ordering. Also, present for the discussion:

Joan Aliprand, RLG Chris Boyle, Novell Mark Davis, Taligent/IBM John Fiscella, Production First Software Asmus Freytag, ASMUS Edwin Hart, SHARE Lloyd Honomicl, Novell John Jenkins, Apple Mike Ksar, HP Michael Kung, Oracle Rick McGowan; Apple Lisa Moore, IBM Nelson Ny, Oracle Sandra Martin O'Donnell, Digital Gary Roberts, NCR Murray Sargent, Microsoft Michel Suigrard, Microsoft Tex Texin, Progress Software V.S. Umamaheswaran, IBM Ken Whistler, Sybase Arnold Winkler, Unisys



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