Re: Ending the Overington

From: David Hopwood (
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 21:42:33 EDT


Michael Everson wrote:
> At 07:52 +0100 2002-07-09, William Overington wrote:
> >Courtyard codes and codes for chromatic fonts, in my opinion, fall within
> >the definition of character in Annex B of that document.

The definition of character in that document needs to include all characters
from existing charsets (or at the very least, all ISO-standardised ones).
Therefore, it has to include even characters that it would be a *really*
bad idea to use for their originally intended purpose, such as U+009F

To expect the *definition* of a character (in context, meaning encoded
characters) to give detailed criteria for which types of characters should
or should not be included in a new standard, is just silly. An analogy would
be expecting the *definition* of "car" to exclude rust-buckets and cars with
leaking fuel tanks.

> Well, you are wrong. You can't just define anything you want to be a
> control character.

You can, actually (PUA characters can be used as controls, whether or not
they are formally defined as such, or you can define your own CCS).
Just don't expect anyone else to use it.

> >people just keep saying that markup exists, as if the very existence
> >of XML in some way precludes single code point colour codes and
> >single code point formatting codes and so on.
> Yes, that is right. That is entirely right.

No it isn't. Duplicating functionality between character encoding and markup
is just a Bad Thing (usually). It is certainly not excluded a priori - as
demonstrated by the interlinear annotation markers, stateful BiDi controls,
and plane 14 language tags.

I see that no-one in this thread has even attempted to explain why
duplication of functionality across layers is a bad idea, or to discuss
what alternative models would have been possible besides "plain text" +
{HTML,SGML,XML,TeX}-style markup languages. I'll try to do that in another

- --
David Hopwood <>

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