Re: U+xxxx, U-xxxxxx, and the basics

From: Addison Phillips [GSC] (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 11:47:08 EST

UCS-2 is bogus because it isn't UTF-16. New implementations should not use
UCS-2, since UTF-16 is a superset that allows for the surrogate characters.
Supporting only UCS-2 will mean that your implementation breaks when Unicode
3+ characters become official and get used (which will happen quickly
because there are a bunch of additional Han characters in the first plane).
In other words: when mentioning and describing UCS-2, deprecate its use
clearly so that newcomers understand that they *need to* support UTF-16.

UTF-16 is also a requirement because there are a number of significant UCS-2
implementations by now that need to support additional characters and
re-architecting them is not an option, compared to providing a mechanism
like UTF-16 to make them conformant. Oh, I forgot, we should replumb them
all to use UTF-32 ;-)......


Addison P. Phillips
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Global Sight Corporation
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----- Original Message -----
From: Dan Oscarsson <>
To: Unicode List <>
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2000 7:09 AM
Subject: Re: U+xxxx, U-xxxxxx, and the basics

> John Cowan wrote:
> >
> >> The ISO standard also defines a 16-bit encoding form called UCS-2, in
> >> a 16-bit code value in the code space 0x0..0xFFFF directly corresponds
to an
> >> identical scalar value, but this form is, of course, inherently limited
> >> representing only the first 65,536 scalar values.
> >
> >UCS-2 is bogus and shouldn't be explained before UTF-16, which has been
> >real deal since Unicode 2.0.
> Why is it bogus?
> I see UTF-16 as really bogus. UTF-16 is there (I guess) because Unicode
> suddenly realised that 16 bits were not enough and instead of
> going for full UCS tried to cram as much as possible into 16 bits by
> an encoding like UTF-8.
> Dan

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