Re: [ OT ] ISO 10646-x and Unicode 3.0 and Hebrew ?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 14:01:51 EST

Peter and John provided an answer to Elaine Keown's question:

> On 02/02/2001 09:29:08 AM Elaine Keown wrote:
> >What version of ISO 10646-x is the same as Unicode 3.0? Are there ISO
> updates
> >each time that correspond to the Unicode 3.0.1 and so forth?
> I'll add to the answers John Cowan gave (all of which are correct). Unicode
> and ISO are synchronised, meaning that the coded character sets are kept
> identical. ...

In addition to the email responses, it is important for people
who are concerned about this kind of issue to refer to the
standard itself. See Appendix C in The Unicode Standard, Version 3.0
(which you can access online, if you like), pp. 967-972. That Appendix
is titled "Relationship to ISO/IEC 10646" and goes to rather great pains
to explain in detail the version relationship and other points regarding
how the two standards are connected.

The short answer is:

Unicode 2.0 = ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993 + Amendments 1 - 7


Unicode 3.0 = ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 (*exactly*)

The next version of Unicode (about to be released) can be defined as:

Unicode 3.1 = ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 + FDIS 10646-2 + 2 characters
                  from Amd 1 (currently in PDAM status) to ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000

By the time Unicode 3.1 is released, FDIS 10646-2 will be an *approved*
FDIS. It will not yet have been published, but will effectively have the
status that for a regular book could be considered "in press" -- it will
be handed over to ITTF to publish as an IS. It will almost certainly end up
being published as ISO/IEC 10646-2:2001, unless ITTF delays publication for
some unforeseen reason.

Major versions of Unicode (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0...) are published as books.
And when the UTC does these major versions, it makes an extraordinary
effort to ensure that a meaningful synchronization is made with 10646
at that publication point. We were particularly successful in this regard
for Unicode 3.0, where the publication of the Unicode book was carefully
synchronized with the rollup of 31 amendments and the republication of
10646-1 in its second edition (i.e. ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000).

However, as Peter pointed out, since the versioning mechanism used by
the UTC for the Unicode Standard (major, minor, update versions) and
that used by ISO (amendments) differ, not all of the intermediate
versions can be so cleanly synchronized.


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