Re: Hexadecimal characters.

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 06:07:53 EDT

>The proposal is a non-starter. There isn't even a glimmer of serious
>interest here, and it's rather pointless to continue this discussion.

Well, I have been reading this thread with serious interest, trying to weigh
even-handedly the arguments.

I can see that there is a potential need in some circumstances. For
example, if one is producing an on the fly display showing the hexadecimal
expression of colours as one drifts a mouse over a picture. The glyphs
could be defined to all be the same width without needing to use a
monospaced fount. Hexadecimal with the usual code points can go "in and
out" as the hexadecimal number changes. In a typical modern Western fount,
all digits 0 to 9 are on the same width body. A set of ten such characters
could all be on the same width bodies as each other and as digits. They
could also be potentially helpful in documents such as code point tables
where both decimal and hexadecimal numbers are included in the same

I have a suggestion. As some readers may know I am defining some sets of
code point assignments within the Private Use Area.

Also, I use a part of the Private Use Area for experiments. That area is
U+E7C0 through to U+E7FF. In the interests of fairness I suggest that on an
experimental basis that U+E7D0 through to U+E7DF be used to try out Mr
Finch's idea, so as to give him and anyone else who would like to try the
idea out a fair chance to do so in a Unicode compatible environment.

Being aware of the matter raised in the posts by Avarangal, the glyphs are
left "to float" shall we say.

In the light of a few interested people trying out Mr Finch's ideas, then
either a proposal for regular Unicode could be made or I could make a
permanent assignment to the U+E6.. block in my collection of code points if
that would be regarded as serving a useful purpose. My reason for not doing
that straightaway at this time is not because of seeking to create a barrier
to doing so, but because it may perhaps be felt that a permanent
non-exclusive Private Use Area allocation would be of no usefulness for this
particular set of characters and because in view of the point raised by
Avarangal it may be that two sets of 16 characters are needed or maybe just
one set or that some other coding arrangement would need to be made, I am
unsure, so I leave the matter open for experiment and experience to provide
a guide.

I do feel though that Mr Finch should be helped to try out his idea so that
whether it is an idea worth pursuing may be established by scientific

William Overington

21 June 2002

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