Re: Korean m*, what is it?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Feb 04 1997 - 14:05:19 EST

Otto Stolz asks:

> On Feb 3, 13:59, (Kenneth Whistler) replied:
> > Simply stated, the Korean m* was that the Korean Hangul
> > syllables (KS C 5601 1987) that were encoded in Unicode 1.0
> > and Unicode 1.1 and originally in ISO 10646-1, were
> > *moved* and rearranged, and incorporated into the larger
> > "full Johab" set of 11,172 syllables (KS C 5601 1992)
> > encoded in Unicode 2.0 and in ISO 10646-1 as amended.
> > See the Unicode Standard, Version 2.0, pp. 6-114..6-115
> > and D-8 for details.
> What is the current ISO 10646-1 edition? Can the amendmend be
> acquired separately?

I'm not sure exactly how it is specified. The Unicode Standard,
Version 2.0 corresponds to ISO 10646-1 [1993] plus the first
seven amendments. Those amendments have passed all significant
balloting in the ISO process, but have not all been published.

Perhaps someone more familiar with the ISO publishing process can
specify how the ISO 10646-1 edition is referred to, and how to
obtain the standard as amended or the amendments separately.

> Does the first edition 1993-05-01 contain the original, or the revised,
> Hangul coding?

The original publication of ISO 10646-1 [1993] (without the amendments)
contained the original Hangul coding. That is why Amendment 5 "Korean
Hangul Character Collection" was required.

> (Kenneth Whistler) continued:
> > [...] It was also controversial because of the enormous size of the
> > full Johab set, which includes many theoretical but unused syllable
> > combinations for Korean.
> Is it correct that there actually is no need to encode Hanguls (i.e.
> syllables), as this script could be equally well encoded as Jamos
> (letters)? If I am not mistaken, this would constitute the worst instance
> of confusing characters and glyphs: 11,172 code-points wasted for sort of
> "representation forms"!

Those of us who preferred encoding Hangul with the small set of jamos
generally agree. However, this is not entirely a confusion of characters
and glyphs. Because the Hangul syllables are implemented *as characters*
on existing Korean systems (based on KS C 5601 1992) including Korean
Windows, the Johab set got admitted into Unicode and ISO 10646 as
compatibility characters, regardless of their status in the character/glyph

--Ken Whistler

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