One commonsense way of stating the purpose of Unicode is to say that it is
an attempt to make it possible to encode in a computer, with a single
encoding, the text that people all over the world already write, or have
written, on paper. In other words, Unicode doesn't *create* characters, it
*finds* them and assigns numbers to them. Unicode does not create new
characters for a literate society that hasn't felt the need to create them
If the shopkeepers in the markets of Kabul felt they needed a new currency
character, they could agree on something among themselves and start drawing
it with their pens on the signs in their shops. A man with a pen is not
bound by the decisions of the Unicode Technical Committee. If they're not
writing any currency symbol with their pens, there's nothing for Unicode to
What do the shopkeepers choose to write with their pens right now? What do
the Afghani newspapers, with their ability to create any characters they
want in lead type, use for currency now? When we know the answer, then the
question becomes, can *that* be encoded in Unicode already? If the answer is
no, then there's something to discuss right now. If the answer is yes, then
the problem has *already* been "solved by Unicode".
----- Original Message -----
From: N.R.Liwal <email@example.com>
To: Unicode List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 2:30 AM
Subject: Re: Where to Add new Currency Sign? -- Cultural adaptability
> As computers are going to be multiligual, therefore the ISO two charachter
> of Roman Script may not be acceptable to certin nations, for instance
> in my country few people can read the roman script and can understand
> it. Therefore they will not like AFs or AFA for Afghanis. But they prepare
> full name of Currency in Pashto (Extened Arabic).
> This problem can be solved better by UNICODE.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <email@example.com>
> To: Unicode List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Cc: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 2:39 AM
> Subject: Re: Where to Add new Currency Sign? -- Cultural adaptability
> > Alain wrote:
> > I have seen but bad usages (including those examples) for this in all
> > countries I have visited. Even at **most** foreign currency exchange
> > places, affiliates to banks, which are said to be those who use this
> > standard.
> > That said, the approach remains the global solution in principle. But
> > education is required. A lot of education. Is it the example of
> > culturally-neutral identifier? I don't believe so. Addison, a coding
> > specialist, just demonstrated it once more, but he is far to be alone.
> > Well, Alain is being nice... but there is no excuse for not looking up
> > codes before implementation. I've worked on a few retail systems that
> > ISO 4127 for multicurrency. Yes, the codes are confusing in many
> > didn't remember the rule when composing the original message and "just
> > winged it", which is usually a good way to "eat crow" later.
> > There are *difficult* issues surrounding multi-currency. Most system
> > designers in the U.S. conveniently ignore the issue (you *have* to have
> > fields: one for the value and one for the currency type---assumptions
> > very bad idea), and it is not a good idea to invent your own standards
> > you go along. What you display to the user ("localization") and what you
> > actually store *can* be different to reduce confusion, where it makes
> > sense. However, ISO 4127 *is* the standard and it makes sense to promote
> > as such by displaying it.
> > The problem, typically, if faced by multi-country e-tailers. If your
> > company is in Japan (¥ = JPY), with a server in Iowa ($ = USD),
> > in Ireland (£= IEP or ? = EUR), and customer in the Czech Republic
> > = CSK), what currency do you see? What does each link along the way see?
> > How do you pay your shipper? How are each of these formatted? Which
> > card clearing house do you access? Answers to these questions could cost
> > your company a lot of money is currency conversions, customer confusion
> > exchange rate fluctuations.
> > ISO 4127 is not a panacea, but it provides a way to begin organizing
> > mess. Most implentations end up displaying the currency to end-users
> > explicitly spelled out in the currently selected language (ruble is not
> > spelled out in Latin characters in Russia! And, as Roozbeh pointed out
> > earlier today, not everyone has an explicit currency character already
> > extant like $--although it looks like Iran does in that part of this
> > thread). One bad assumption is that everyone's "currency character" is
> > character long! Sure, pounds and dollars and yen and won all have
> > But francs typically use two. And position varies. An
> > interface can use ISO 4127 in a pull down box to the left/right of the
> > value on screen (or in reports) to escape from the variable length and
> > format problem (at least a little). Of course, there is still the
> > of numeric format... What's ¥0.01?
> > Some globalization issues are not as easy as they look!
> > thanks,
> > Addison
> > Addison P. Phillips
> > Senior Globalization Consultant
> > Global Sight Corporation
> > mailto:email@example.com
> > ================================
> > 101 Metro Drive, Suite 750
> > San Jose, California 95110 USA
> > (+1) 408.350.3649 - Phone
> > http://www.globalsight.com
> > ================================
> > Going global with your web site? Global Sight provides Web-based
> > software solutions that simplify the process, cut costs, and save time.
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