Re: ISO/IEC 10646-1: 2000 submitted to ISO for publication

From: Alain LaBonté  (
Date: Thu Mar 02 2000 - 10:24:42 EST

rÀ 14:49 2000-03-02 +0000, Markus Kuhn a écrit:
>"Hart, Edwin F." wrote on 2000-03-02 14:25 UTC:
> > I understand that ISO will be publishing the second edition on CD-ROM.

>With what factor do we have to multiply the cost of the Unicode 3.0 book
>(50 USD) to get what ISO CS will charge for a copy of ISO 10646-1:2000?
>More than three?

[Alain] Right now we try to make a case in Canada, in France and elsewhere
(perhaps Ireland, maybe USA) so that the JTC1 pricing be similar and that
the CD-ROM also include the French version (all PDFs ready, except for some
vey slight typos -- Michel Suignard has to produce a new set of glyph
tables these days -- Asmus Freytag [who made the programs] and him were
very nice in helping us produce the non-Han glyph tables for the French
version with our list of names, it is extremely appreciated -- for the Han,
we modified the PDF files provioded to us by ITTF directly -- they were
extremely nice too, thanks to the usual and faithful colaboration of Keith
Brannon and his staff -- the rest is text, fully in line with the English
version thanks to Patrick Andries, François Yergeau [Montréal], Bernard
Chauvois [Tours, France], etc. -- excellent collaboration also from Bruce
Paterson [London, UK], the English version editor), which would add value
for translators into not only French, but also other languages (two sources
for character names and technical vocabulary). We expect to also have two
languages for the price of one.

I think the case is well founded. Selling the UCS standard for 500 USD, for
example, would make no sense and would not sell much -- I strongly believe
ISO would be at a loss. The current trend at ISO is to sell it by the page,
with the same pricing criteria as for a publication on paper (but it will
be published on CD-ROM only), but that makes no sense whatsoever indeed,
taking into account that the Unicode standard is available for less than 50
USD, as Markus says.

There is currently a special group in JTC1 to deal with this issue of
"Standards Availability" (ideal goal: to have all of them available on the
web at a low, reasonable cost, eventually for free in certain cases, but a
small fee would be reasonable imho). This international group is chaired by
François Coallier (Bell Canada, Montréal -- international chairman,
JTC1/SC7 [Softaware Engineeering]). It will meet for the firts time in NYC
the week of March 20 (unfortunately it is during the SC2/WG2 meeting).

Alain LaBonté

PS: The PDFs for the English version of ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 make less than
50 Mb roughly, it is similar for the French version (actually 48 Mb, I just
checked on my lap-top -- so around 100 Mb for both). A CD-ROM can contain
from 650 to 700 Mb (depending on the formatting version). Stocking two
language versions of this CD-ROM given these figures, is not economical,
and would not make sense, in our humble opinion. Everything goes in favour
of a two-langaueg CD-ROM, to be sold at a reasonable, added-value, price.
ISO would also sell a lot more copies.

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