Re: What happened to ....?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Sat Oct 16 1999 - 17:39:47 EDT

Martin K asked:

> > A full collection of mathematical script letters will be available in
> > Unicode 4.0.
> When *exactly* do you expect to run out of 16 bit slots? <g>

If you mean the 16-bit values on Plane 0 (BMP), the answer is that
most of the remaining area of the BMP is already accounted for by
the Roadmap--and it is merely a matter of the time it takes to come to
technical agreement on the encoding for the additional scripts, plus the
time it takes to steer proposals through the standards committees to
reach consensus. Roughly speaking, I estimate the BMP has another decade
of active life, before people get tired of cramming things in the
crevices and it more-or-less freezes solid.

If you mean the positions available on Planes 1 - 14, then you'd be
safe on betting for another 1000 years. Historic scripts and some other
symbolic systems will probably manage to fill Plane 1. Han characters
will manage to fill Plane 2 eventually (Vertical Extension B already
has about 43,000 candidates), and will probably spill over onto Plane 3.
Nobody has the slightest idea what to put on Planes 4 - 13. And Plane
14 will have a small chunk dedicated to tags and other special things.

No only does no one have any idea of what characters we're missing that
would be appropriate to fill 10 more planes (~ 650,000 characters),
not even the most compulsive among us involved in character encoding
would have the patience to catalog and document several hundred thousand
more "things" that no one would use.


> -Martin

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