Re: Mixed up priorities

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 12:40:56 EDT

Michael Everson scripsit:
> Ar 15:16 -0700 1999-10-22, scríobh Ashley Yakeley:
> >>Abstract character: A unit of information use for the organization,
> >>control, or representation of textual data. [This is the ISO 10646
> >>definition of "character".]
> No it isn't. From ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993:
> 4.6 character: A member of a set of elements used for the organisation,
> control, or representation of data.

So I lied. :-)

But anyway, I suspect that word "textual" is dictum, since sequences
of characters are text, and that embedding the fact that characters
are members of character sets into the ISO 10646 definition is a

> A letter is an element of an alphabet, which itself is a structured
> collection of graphic symbols used to represent one or more languages,
> having specific elements representing for vowels and consonants.

That definition sounds like it covers Ethiopic (though not Cherokee
or kata/hiragana).

John Cowan                         
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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