Re: The battle between Ken'ichi and Martin

From: Martin J Duerst (
Date: Tue Jun 04 1996 - 13:07:20 EDT

Werner Lemberg wrote:

>I'm just curious: how many characters of Unicode which are unified you would
>like to have different character codes? 10? 100? I think there would be
>enough room for adding these critical characters without any problems

I am also really curious about Ken'ichi's actual number, and would
seriously like to hear from him about this.

But with the danger of saying this prematurely, I would like to add
a very important caveat: Asking what few characters to add to make a
single person satisfied, and adding these characters, will only satisfy
this single person. It will not satisfy many others that may want a few
others added, it will not satisfy those that did not want those new things
added, and it may also cause additional dissatisfaction from people that
in some respects were satisfied with the original solution, but that after
the addition of some characters might think that one would better add
some more for better consistence.

So one has to realize that one cannot find a standard, especially in the
area of CJK ideographs (this applies both for national/regional and
supranational standards), that satisfies everybody. And of course,
having a different standard for every single person, or even for
groups of persons, doesn't solve the problem of mutual communication
either. So one has to realize that almost nobody can be completely
satisfied with a character standard, and that actual standards are only
relatively optimal.

Seen in this ligth, and in the light of historical facts and actual typographic
practice as well as modern system design, Unicode does a pretty good job,
I would even say a damn good job.

Regards, Martin.

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