Unicode-32 = Godot?

From: Timothy Huang (timd_huang@mail.formac.com.tw)
Date: Mon Aug 19 1996 - 22:16:21 EDT

Gary Liu wrote:

>Hi, Mr. Timothy Huang and Mr. Edward Cherlin,
>Thank you for forwarding my message . As to Mr. Edward Cherlin's aply,
>I have something to add . I just said that current unicode standard is
>a wrong solution in that post . Current unicode , for instance ,
>Windows NT uses 16-bit unicode . and Java also uses 16-bit unicode .

>Unicode did adopt some standards such as GB, BIG5, but not in a compatible
>way . Think about the extension code sets of BIG5 and GB : They are also
>a part of the national standard , but there are no space for them in 16-bit
>unicode . not to metion that this kind of characters is important in
>publishing . As far as I know , a real Chinese desktop publish system needs
>more Chinese characters, Yes, have a look at "Founder system" --
>a DTP system developed by Chinese .
>Code should help people to describle information , not to cut .
>You also mentioned 32-bit unicode , there is not any real implement of it
>yet , Isn't it ? I think one reason is that it is so uncompatible with
>existed standards that people can hardly switch to it . Unicode should
>benift its user first , and then the developer .
>By know , It is clear that the US computer makers like it the most.
>I can say that it brings user nothing but cost .
>As you said , Chinese should do much work themselves on this issue.
>I agree , and that is why I want to post my article to the newsgroup .
>Gary Liu

>From: pollak@mozart.inet.co.th (Dan Pollak)
>Subject: Re: Unicode, Cure-all or Kill-all?
>Date: 19 Aug 1996 06:45:14 GMT
>He has a very good point about adding characters. If I remember
>correctly, when some's chinese name is written on their birth certificate
>(?), if the character is formed incorrectly then the child is stuck with
>the incorrectly formed character as his name for the rest of his life.
>If you want to correctly put his name in a computer then you must create
>the misformed character(s) that are on his birth certificate.
>Clearly then, one needs to be able to add these chracters to an ever
>growing database of characvters in use. Clearly unicode is not suitable
>because its contents are not and can not be updated everyday by any
>person needing to register a new character. PErhaps something like
>internic is needed to maintain a character registration and assign new
>character IDs to each new character.

Hello, dear Dan and Gary,

Hope both of you don't mind that I mix the reply together.

As I said many times, whatever someone says and what he does are two
separate things. Unicode said the unification of all characters of the
whole world, but in fact they did less than half of a 300 years old
dictionary. If you look carefully, the number of Unicode 1.0 CJK
characters, which is 20,902, it is not so. Four "national" (let's forget
the politic as now) standards were 'unified'. Thus, in reality, many
variants were counted as characters. And then, there are so many related
questions about the definition of character/glyph. Now, they are saying
that all of our problems will be solved when the Unicode-32 is released.
Yes, my friends, Mr. Godot also promised to come to solve our problem
long time ago. The question is when the solution, an usable solution,
such as Operating Environment and Applications will be available? The
time from the publication of a given character code standard thru the
soft/hardware houses accept and implement and finally to the hand of end
users can be v--e--r--y l---o---n---g. I hope all of us are in good
health to wait that long.

So, if you find a new character, such as the one used in someone's name
by mistake, and want to add to the standard, similar situation/process
will be required. In the national standard affairs, including the
Unicode, as far as the record shown, real user never been invited to
contribute their two cent worth opinion. And the funny thing I
personally heard once in one meeting -- from a Taiwan government officer
-- the entity who made the standard does not have to use that standard!
But, they want the whole nation to use that standard. Let's take the
existing computers from the Unicode consorsium and see how many of them
are using Unicode-16 now. They have enough times to make the changes so
that all of their systems use the standard they created, right? Right!
Holy preacher(s), please practice whatever you preach so that we, a
bounch of common people, can follow.

I already made a suggestion to the Unicode people to use the Internet as
an open forum for future standard process. However, I did not get any
reply from them yet. I don't know why. I just sincerely hope that
someone up there can give us, poor users, mercy.

I know this glim letter does not provide any real solution to your
immediate problem(s), but I still hope you can SMILES.

Timothy Huang

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