Title: WG20 Liaison Report to UTC
From: Ken Whistler
Date: May 22, 2001
Action: For Information
SC22/WG20 held its meeting #20 in Tuebingen, Germany,
May 9 - 11, 2001. The following is a brief summary of
the significant decisions taken by that committee for which
the UTC has an interest.
1. ISO 14651 International String Ordering
The IS was published on February 15, and the CD ROM version
has been available since April.
WG20 decided to pursue an amendment, to bring the repertoire
of 14651 up to the level of Unicode 3.0. The draft text is in
WG20 N832, and is very concise -- consisting only of updating
the table, with no other substantive changes to the standard.
The draft table is WG20 N833, and consists of the 14651
style table that is exactly synched with the current version
of the Unicode Collation Algorithm allkeys.txt table. This
provides a common base from which to consider any further
modifications to the table during the ballotting process.
The order of runes was discussed at some length. A key paper
here was WG2 N809R, by Michael Everson, which argues why
runes should be given the futhark order by default, rather
than the order (currently in the table) supported by the
Swedish ISORUNES project. This will need to be the subject
of national ballot comments, if we want anything to change in
WG20 discussed at some length the idea of providing a non-zero
weight for U+001F UNIT SEPARATOR. There was not much opposition
to the idea, so if the U.S. NB supports such a weighting, it
will likely go in. However, Keld used this as another opportunity
to once again lobby for giving all control codes distinct weights.
The PDAM ballot has not yet been issued, but will be shortly.
The UTC will need to provide its input by the next UTC meeting.
2. DTR 14652 Cultural Element Specification
The current ballot on this DTR had not yet closed, so
WG20 did not discuss this project. The UTC has already
provided extensive input on this draft through the U.S. NB
comments. No official action will now occur until the
resolution of ballot comments at the next WG20 meeting,
in Malvern this fall. It is likely that the DTR ballot will
pass (although it will get some substantial NO votes), but
the resolution of ballot comments will be a messy process.
3. ISO 15897 Registration of Cultural Elements
The committee agreed on progressing a WD for the next
edition of this standard. The current draft, after some more
editorial committee review, is due to start a CD-registration ballot
in the first week of July.
This is mostly low level maintenance work on this standard,
and is not, in my opinion, a high priority item for the UTC.
To date nothing much of significance has actually been
registered. The contents of the cultural element registry
are still almost entirely the Danish locales and a long
list of charmaps registered by Keld.
4. Proposed standard 15435 I18N APIs
No new working draft appeared during the Tuebingen meeting,
although the editor (Keld) claimed he had one almost ready.
What did appear was a document entitled "Market opportunities
for the I18n API Standard" (WG20 N805). This was produced in
response to a request that Keld produce a market
*requirements* document for the proposed standard. Instead
he produced a market *opportunities* document that considers
who might be likely to be open to using such a standard when
it is completed. The document was roundly and thoroughly
criticized by the committee.
At this point, the future of 15435 is still open. WG20 has
been ordered by SC22 to start a CD ballot before the
next SC22 plenary (this fall), but at this point has not yet
seen a working draft that could be sent out for CD. And the
next WG20 meeting is not *after* the SC22 plenary.
5. CEN I18N Taxonomy (WG20 N814)
The working document (by Keld) on taxonomy of I18N also got
a severe thrashing in committee. Some consensus emerged
that a different approach might make sense. Baldeev Soor
(Canada) indicated some interest in starting over with a
new document focussed squarely on user requirements and
functionality, rather than on standards shopping in the
various ISO (and other) committees.