Re: Unicode & Han

From: Timothy Huang (
Date: Sun Aug 11 1996 - 10:15:16 EDT

Dear Arnt,

Thanks for your nice letter. What you said is completely right on
target. The problems with Unicode Chinese portion are not caused by
Unicode consortium, but by the consortium dealed with the wrong people

Fixing the CNS, I don't bet for that. Do you ever see any politician
comes out saying he was wrong? They will cover one old lie with a new
lie. As long as the Institute of Information Industry (III) which is a
semi-government agency and dominated by the military related people, is
behind the scene, I really don't have any hope for the CNS to make any
changes. CNS is just a very low level government office. It does not
have any technical stuff to handle this matter. So, in fact, the III is
in charge of everything, from the original proposal thru the making of
the standards and reviewer. CNS and TCA are just rubber stamps.

During the past, the military have very strong control in Taiwan. Even
now, we still can feel their stupid control in our everyday life. Just
an example, the map. The other day, I get a detail map of where my son
live in Portland, Oregon thru internet. However, in Taiwan, if I want to
get an 1/25,000 map, I have to go a government office in person with my
personal identification card ans sign a paper that i won't bring that
outside the country. And, do you know you can buy a GPS (Global
Positioning System) for $300 in many street stores in the USA, which is
much better than the most expensive one used by the Taiwan military?
Why? just because some high military guys don't think that the people
have the right to know their neighbor better. As long as the III is
fully controlled by these military guys, I don't think there is a chance
for any real change.

Believe me, if go through the normal channel (as you described) would
work, then, we won't have these discussions. We tried them all, but did
not work. Some of the professors who designed the EACC/CCCII were almost
sent to jail by the III behind the scene.

And this is one of the major reasons why I go international seeking for
help. If, that is a big if, Unicode consortium can review the
qualification of the Taiwan and Chinese delegation, I think Unicode
consortium won't make such a big goof. [However, I don't blame the
Unicode people. The American way of thinking is so straight foreward. Go
for national standard body is very logical. However, this may not work
well in the Orient. The current Unicode is an example.] But, it may be
too late by now. Say, if, again only a big if, Unicode consortium finds
out that CNS 11643 (and GB 2312) which is already a part of Unicode
character set. Will Unicode has the guts and courages to abolish that?
How about the people already using the "wrong" standard? I think this is
one thing the Unicode has to bear as long as it exists.

Tell you the truth, after almost 20 years in Chinese computing, I am
very tied of it. Too much dirty politics here. Heck, who cares Chinese
do not have a good Chinese character coding? We don't have Chinese
computer for 5,000+ years, I think she will live another 5,000+ years
without it.

Timothy Huang

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