Unicode, Cure-all or Kill-all?

From: Glenn Adams (glenn@spyglass.com)
Date: Fri Aug 09 1996 - 10:21:46 EDT

I don't read the newsgroup where this appeared, but you can certainly
forward my response there.

>>From: Timothy Huang <timd_huang@mail.formac.com.tw>
>>Subject: Unicode, Cure-all or Kill-all?
>>Date: 7 Aug 1996 18:51:22 -0400
>>Reply-To: timd_huang@mail.formac.com.tw
>>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.

I suppose you are The Englightened One, eh?

>>If you look carefully on Unicode/ISO10646, you will find that this is =
>>a political compromise...

Yes it is. So what? One can't create an international standard without
compromise. If standards were turned over to starry-eyed idealists, there
wouldn't be any standards.

>>not a real solution to solve the world wide character coding issue

I suppose you have a viable alternative in mind. Like CCCII?

>>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?

With Unicode, the answer is 1,114,112. If you can't figure out why,
then read the UTF-16 spec.
>>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.

So what? There's this thing called "a process." Like all processes,
there is a step 1, a step 2, etc. step 1 gets you so far, step 2 gets
you farther, etc. You get the idea. Unicode will evolve. step 1 was
to start with existing national & international standard. As far as I
know, the "KangXi ZiDian" (can't you even spell Chinese properly) isn't
a national or international standard. step 2, which is currently underway
in the IRG, is to consider the next round of characters for inclusion.
This is a slow process if one is to be rigorous; but then, perhaps you
aren't familiar with rigor?

>>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.

I guess Chemists must also be dissatisfied with the primary PRC & Taiwanese
standards (GB2312 & BIG5), since they don't have them either.

>>>From (this) Chinese point of view, Unicode is NOT a savior, but a
>>killer to the Chinese culture.

I suppose you represent 1 billion Chinese speakers, eh? Give me a break
please. If Chinese don't support Unicode, why is it a National Standard
in China (GB13000)?

>>Professor Timothy Huang (of Chinese Computing)

Really now, why don't you simply tell us about your agenda for solving
the mysteries of character encoding. Let me guess, does it start with CCC?

Glenn Adams

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