Re: private spaces

From: John Plaice (
Date: Fri Jan 17 1997 - 12:31:58 EST

> There are ~6000 private positions in the BMP, and ~130,000 in UTF-16.
> For quite some time, until work is completed on rare, historical, and
> obscure scripts in ISO 10646/Unicode, there will be a need to encode
> characters that are not yet defined.
> But the need for character set changes such as switching changes does
> not follow from the need to encode not-yet-defined characters for
> some specific purpose.
> Regards, Martin.

The private positions are fine if they are used internally by me and my
close correspondents, and we all concur on what those private positions
actually mean. But if some other group, using the same approach, but
with different values for characters, uses the same spaces, and then there
is communication between us, we will need to distinguish the different
versions of `Unicode+private extensions'. Now if there is no way to
identify this in Unicode, then ad hoc measures WILL need to be used
to be able to distinguish the two.

Standards development is a very important process. But we should never
forget that everything changes (Heraclitus), and that versioning is a
perfectly normal situation. We have even seen versioning take place
in the Korean space WITHIN Unicode, so I do not see why we should suppose
that PRIVATE spaces will not themselves be versioned and that standardized
means should not be available to distinguish/separate them.

Cheers, John

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