Re: Towards a classification system for uses of the Private Use Area (derives from Re: Private Use Agreements and Unapproved Characters)

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Apr 26 2002 - 13:52:27 EDT

Michael replied to William Overington:

> The Private Use Area is not to be classified. Anyone anywhere can use
> any of its code points for anything.

Which of course includes William's right to use to them to devise a
classification scheme for the PUA. The problem he will face is in
getting anyone else to agree to share that scheme in actual use.

I agree with Doug's assessment that this is waaay too complex. In fact
the "solution" is, I think, more complex than the "problem" it aims
at solving.

SGML already has mechanisms for dealing with these issues, for
instance. You can define your own entity sets and share them between
users, as you choose. I see no need to reinvent the wheel
here, with 2022-like codeset switching in the PUA (Overington-speak:
designation of type tray sequences of character designs) in putatively
"plain text" Unicode.

The Private Use Area in Unicode is basically available for any
use imagined by consenting adults. The Unicode Consortium has no
interest in prying to see what might be going on behind the PUA
bedroom doors, simply because of a desire to regulate that behavior.


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