Expert Contribution

V.S.  Umamaheswaran, IBM

Murray Sargent, Microsoft




L2 is requested to consider and forward the following statement as a US contribution to WG2.  The background is the discussion on document L2/00-21during this meeting.




WG2 is requested to seek the opinion of experts from member bodies, especially those belonging to the IRG, on the feasibility and support for the following:


Split the current Extension B ideographs into two unified ideograph sets.  The first set consists of the smaller sets of unified ideographs from JIS 0213 (approx. 302), from Hong Kong (approx. 1088) and from Korea (approx. 168).  The second set consists of the remainder from Extension B.  The first set is proposed to be moved from their current encoding in CD-ISO/IEC 10646-2 and be included in the BMP through an amendment to ISO/IEC 10646-1 to be initiated and processed without undue delay.


The inclusion of the smaller set of ideographs in the BMP permits the implementation and the customer benefits that can be derived using existing technology that support only the BMP.  The relatively small subset required in Japan, Korea and China (Hong Kong) can be supported by just adding the necessary resources to process these characters without having to wait for the UTF-16 support in operating systems and more importantly the applications.  For example, in the case of JIS 0213, approximately 96 percent of the ideographs are already in the BMP, and if the missing 4 percent are also in the BMP, the benefits for the existing implementations is obvious.  It should be noted that the current BMP-only technology supports all of the immediate Korean, Japanese and Simplified Chinese requirements and by moving the above smaller set of additional ideographs from extension B to the BMP the customer set requiring these ideographs can be immediately served .


This proposal is not expected to significantly delay the implementation of UTF-16 in order to support the repertoires in planes beyond the BMP.


If there is sufficient support for proceeding with the above proposal in WG2, especially a consensus from the IRG member bodies whose customer set will be the direct beneficiaries of this proposal, WG2 is requested to take the necessary resolutions towards encoding of these ideographs in the standard without undue delay.