Re: fictional scripts revisited

From: Joel Rees (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 21:20:17 EST

Hello, David,

> On Wed, Feb 21, 2001 at 10:58:06PM -0800, Thomas Chan wrote:
> > First, there are the 4000 new[4] "CJK Ideographs" that he created solely
> > for a work called _Tianshu_ (A Book from the Sky)[5] (1987-1991), which
> > spent three years carving movable wooden type for. There is no doubt
> > these are bona fide Han characters, albeit without readings and
> Idiosyncratic and personal characters are not encoded in Unicode.

I find this a fault in UNICODE. When we go through the set algebrae in the
introductory algebra courses for computer science, it is usually pointed out
that a set of characters can only be artificially closed. When I consider
that character sets are inherently open, I have to conclude that the UNICODE
implementation is at direct conflict with one of the Consortium's primary
stated goals.

If the history of the ASCII set does not show this plainly enough, then the
reality of the so-called Han characters (such as new characters being
invented every year for various technical purposes) should bring the issue
into better focus.

If UNICODE can never attempt to address the issue of non-closure, it will be
superceded. That's no big deal, most standards are superceded eventually,
and the research that is being done to build the UNICODE standard now is a
necessary step. But if the UNICODE consortium can be flexible enough to
start preparing to tackle the non-closure issues, the jump to the next
standard will be a lot easier, and can be postponed a lot longer.

Joel Rees, Media Fusion
Amagasaki, Japan

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