Re: UTF8 vs. Unicode (UTF16) in code

From: John Jenkins (
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 12:27:58 EST

On Tuesday, March 13, 2001, at 05:39 PM, Christopher John Fynn wrote:

>> Some of the characters in Extension B are required for JIS X 0213
>> support, which is going to be a sine qua non in Japan within a few
>> years. There was a push a little while ago to put these characters
>> on the BMP for precisely this reason, but it was opposed both within
>> the UTC and WG2 and then abandoned.
> IMO Rather an unfortunate decision since there was adequate room to
> include these characters on the BMP and it probably would have helped
> the acceptance of Unicode in Japan if these characters had been
> included there. Still, maybe this means that we will see widespread
> support for supplementary plane characters a little sooner than would
> have otherwise been the case.

There's less room in the BMP than many people appreciate. In any event,
it was a politically impossible decision to make. It was extremely
difficult to get agreement to add Vertical Extension A to the BMP; in
the end, that agreement was secured only by promising that no future
allocations of ideographs would be made in the BMP. It would have meant
considerable loss of face for the UTC to support such a proposition. It
was considered more than a little insulting to non-Japanese IRG members,
as well. *Japan's* characters are important enough that they must go in
the BMP, but yours aren't. In the end, nobody supported it but a couple
of Japanese affiliates of Unicode members, and not even all of those.

John H. Jenkins

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