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

the table.


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.