Unicode: A Distinct Intellectual Adventure

From: James E. Agenbroad (jage@loc.gov)
Date: Fri Jul 31 1998 - 13:32:43 EDT

                                                     Friday, July 31, 1998
"A new universal alphabet is in the making, to replace the 256 characters
now known to computers with a set running to about 35,000, embracing every
distinct symbol in every writing system known to humankind. The Unicode
project creating this alphabet has been a distinct intellectual adventure
in its own right: When do two symbols merely provide variant ways of
writing the same sign? When do two symbols used in different languages and
looking superficially alike really differ and when may they be counted as
a single symbol? Once coded into every computer, Unicode would allow a
far more flexible representation of all the writing systems of the world.
But there are already too many computers in use in the world to promise
rapid replacement of what we have."
     James J. O'Donnell: Avatars of the word, from papyrus to cyberspace.
Harvard University Press, 1998, page 46. ISBN 0-674-05545-4
          Jim Agenbroad ( jage@LOC.gov )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

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