RE: (no subject)

From: Murray Sargent (
Date: Fri Aug 09 1996 - 19:30:52 EDT

Microsoft is committed to Unicode. For example, Office 97 uses Unicode
internally and the Windows NT operating system has used Unicode from its
inception. The plan is to use Unicode in all products, altho the switch
hasn't been as easy as anticipated. For example, one still needs to
communicate with the nonUnicode code-page based world and this takes a
surprising amount of extra code that can't be stuck easily into the OS,
especially in rich-text environments that handle RTF and HTML. With all
>due respect to Prof. Huang, he's wrong to say that Microsoft is investigating
>other choices, except insofar as being sure to be able to communicate with
>the past.
>As many others have pointed out, with UTF-16 it's possible to encode another
>1million characters, so Unicode has a "back door" to encode all conceivable
>Han characters as well as many others. Such solutions are clearly superior
>to the standard DBCS encoding schemes, which in any event aren't large enough
>to encode all the Han characters Prof. Huang would like to represent.
>Another well-known other possibility is to use 32-bit tokens of 10646
>directly, but most people aren't willing to pay that size increase in today's
>computing environments, especially for relatively rarely used characters.
>Still another possibility is to use what Win32 calls the SYMBOL_CHARSET,
>which means no conversion at all. This is by definition a nonstandard coding
>choice that is made by the font designer. An example is the Windows
>Wingdings font, some of whose popular characters still don't appear in
>Unicode (we probably add them due to their popularity...). The problem with
>the SYMBOL_CHARSET approach is that it is nonstandard by definition, and so
>it isn't very useful for information interchange, altho it works fine for
>display if you have the appropriate font installed.
>Hope this helps.
>-----Original Message-----
From: unicode@Unicode.ORG [SMTP:unicode@Unicode.ORG]
Sent: Friday, August 09, 1996 7:16 AM
To: unicode@Unicode.ORG
Subject: FW: (no subject)
Hi All,

I saw this message posted on Would anyone =
like to respond?


Forwarded message of 8/8/96 7:37 PM begins here.

>From: Timothy Huang <>
>Subject: Unicode, Cure-all or Kill-all?
>Date: 7 Aug 1996 18:51:22 -0400
>Hi, there,
>By reading some of the mails/instructions/letters on this mailing
>list, it seems to me a serious problem exists in the computer
>industry -- the blind leads the blinds.
>If you look carefully on Unicode/ISO10646, you will find that this is =

>a political compromise, not a real solution to solve the world wide
>character coding issue. Let me give you just one simple example --
>there are 75,684 or more Chinese characters now. How many
>characters a two-byte coding structure, such as Unicode, can hold?
>As a matter of fact, the number of ideographic characters in Unicode
>is less than half of KanShi Dictionary (1716AD) which contains
>49,188 characters. Furthermore, Unicode does NOT even contain the
>characters for all the known chemical elements, 110 by now. Go Tell
>chemists to use Unicode! There are many many more vital errors like
>this in the Unicode.
>>From (this) Chinese point of view, Unicode is NOT a savior, but a
>killer to the Chinese culture. That's why in the Far East, it did not
>any acceptance, except some US software companies are trying to
>shove it down to the Chinese throats.
>By the way, recently, it just comes to my attention -- Microsoft is
>looking to a other solution for the character coding issue. Don't waste =

>your time to write anything for Unicode now and then find out MS
>already abandoned the ship. I think finally MS reallized that Unicode =

>is a dead end without any practical usability. But to save their face, =

>they may still preaching the gospel of Unicode.
>Professor Timothy Huang (of Chinese Computing)
>54 KuangFu South Road
>Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
>Tel/Fax: 886-2-577-0536
Forwarded message ends here.

Smita Desai
International Engineering
FTP Software, Inc.

Tel: 508.684.6921
Fax: 508.684.6105

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