Re: UTF-8 decision points: Hong Kong characters

Date: Mon Feb 08 1999 - 15:23:19 EST

> Hong Kong uses characters that are not defined in Unicode

An international group of scholars and standards gurus, the Ideographic
Rapporteur Group (IRG), works continuously to ensure that needed Han characters
become included in the Unicode/ISO10646 repertoire. Below is a snapshot from
an old discussion on the topic of Hong Kong characters, you may wish to pursue
later developments or your specific repertoire needs via the IRG's website:


Date: 21 Oct 97 16:46:23 PDT (Tuesday)
Subject: Hong Kong characters
From: "Ken Lunde" <>

Misha asked about Hong Kong characters a couple weeks back, and I have
since found out more about them.

The following URL has TrueType fonts with these characters:

There are two types of fonts:

o Extension to Big Five (not the new Big Five Plus) that includes
  3,049 characters, all hanzi. The characters are encoded according to
  Big Five (second-byte is 0x40-0x7E and 0xA1-0xFE), but the
  first-byte ranges are 0x8E-0xA1 and 0xFA-0xFE. There are lots of
  unused code points, in a scattered fashion.

o Extension to GBK that includes 1,471 characters. These appear to be
  those from the above font (3,049) that are *not* in GBK (and thus
  not in Unicode Version 2.0).

I managed to find a few interesting issues with regard to this set of

o Some Big Five characters are duplicated:

  0x8E7E (same as Big Five 0xA261)
  0x92AF (same as Big Five 0xA259)
  0x92B0 (same as Big Five 0xA25A)
  0x92B1 (same as Big Five 0xA25C)
  0x92B1 (same as Big Five 0xA25B)
  0xFEAA (same as Big Five 0xA260)

o One of the seven ETen hanzi is in both lists:

  0x907A (same as ETen 0xF9D7)

This Hong Kong extension was apparently published in 1994 by the Hong
Kong government. A dictionary published in 1996 by Juxian Guan covers
all Big Five hanzi plus this Hong Kong extension (ISBN 962-436-287-4).
I have been using this dictionary for a couple months now, and it is
quite good. More information is at the following URLs: (publisher) (description -- first
    book listed)

Two colleagues at Adobe ordered copies from Hong Kong (order number
2874). The publisher, Juxian Guan, accepts orders from overseas. Total
price per book with airmail shipping is $250 (Hong Kong), which is
about $30 (US). They arrived within a week. I bought mine at Eastwind
Books in San Francisco for $34.50.
        I am now trying to obtain a copy of the official Hong Kong
document that describes this extension.

-- Ken Lunde


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