Re: Think twice before submitting a proposal

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 02:48:19 EDT

<> wrote:

> To discourage frivolous character proposals, the Unicode Consortium
> requires you to come up with these (I am not sure if this is all the
> requirements, there might be more):
> 1. You gotta fill out a form. Probably not that hard, except that
> some ISO standards are referenced, and you might have some research
> work to do to find out just what these standards are. If you don't
> know where to access these documents, you're stuck.

Not a hard form to fill out. About on a par with an IRS 1040A, with no

Depending on the character(s) being proposed, you might or might not
need to reference external standards. And if you do, you couldn't ask
for a better resource than this mailing list right here. Some of the
list members are or have been members of the working groups that created
those standards. Some are even Project Editors or Technical Editors,
like Keld Simonsen and Michael Everson.

> 2. You gotta have a font including the proposed characters. I do not
> know what type of font, but No Font = No Complete Proposal.

Guess who else is on this list? Font designers! If you have an
otherwise justifiable proposal, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to ask if
anybody can whip up a quick font containing the proposed characters.
(WG2 and UTC want TrueType.)

> 3. You gotta give them instances of the characters in actual use. I
> think you have to send them something to prove this, I'm not sure
> what.

Well, that does make sense, doesn't it? If you can't prove the
characters are or have been in actual use, it's kind of hard to justify
standardizing them. Unicode doesn't generally encode brand-new,
just-invented characters; if they don't catch on, they're just dead
weight and we're stuck with them forever.

> SO... If you are the only guy who uses these hex digits, and you
> don't have a font containing the digits, you basically have less
> chance proposing these characters to Unicode than proposing marriage
> to Anna Kournikova.

Unicode requires you to prove that your proposal is worthwhile. I'm
sure Anna has similar requirements. \u263a

> However, if you find some previously undiscovered (and illiterate)
> jungle tribe, and they count in base 16, and you introduce literacy
> to the tribe, and give them YOUR digits, and if they ACCEPT and USE
> your digits, then it's pretty safe to say they're in. But you still
> need that font.

Well, sure; then they'd be in actual use.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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