Re: Preliminary charts for Unicode 3.2 draft

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 18:34:16 EDT

David Starner asked:

> On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 01:08:41PM -0800, Asmus Freytag wrote:
> > Preliminary character charts are now available for those characters that
> > are proposed to go into Unicode 3.2 (and into AMD1 to ISO/IEC
> > 10646-1:2000). The majority of the proposed characters are mathematical
> > symbols and arrows.
> Where do we find the information on how to use these characters?

First of all, everyone should take a deep breath and read the caveats
carefully. The characters listed in these charts are not yet standardized.
The charts are *draft* charts. Some of the characters have not yet
been approved by the Unicode Technical Committee (although we can predict
nearly all of them will be after the November UTC meeting). None of the
characters has yet gone through even its first round of international
ISO ballotting. So full, standard, published status for this set of
characters, with all the i's dotted and the t's crossed, is about
a year and a half out.

> What about
> after they're published? Will there be a Unicode 3.2 book, or will we
> have to wait for the Unicode 4.0 book?

The current plan is that Unicode 3.2 will be published as a Unicode
Standard Annex (a type of Unicode Technical Report) -- probably about
a year (or optimistically 8-9 months) after we publish Unicode 3.1
as a Unicode Standard Annex (next spring). Information about the new
characters will be included in that Unicode Standard Annex.

The next *book* we publish will be Unicode 4.0, and that is yet a
glimmer in the editors' eyes. It will have to happen eventually,
and by the time everyone is using 3.2, the clamor to have all the
new stuff published together in a new book will be reaching the
cacophonous level. But it takes a good deal of time to turn the
crank for a major book publication of this sort.

> (Personally, I hope the information isn't going to be published only in
> Unicode 3.2, because I can't afford to buy a $60 book that often.)

Unicode 3.2 will be web-published as a Unicode Standard Annex, plus a
new, updated set of online data files. Don't expect to have to plunk
down another $60 for Unicode 4.0 until about 2003 -- and if you start
a dedicated savings account now, I'm sure you'll be able to afford it
by then. ;-)


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