RE: Inappropriate Proposals FAQ

From: Suzanne M. Topping (
Date: Fri Jul 12 2002 - 17:13:01 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barry Caplan []
> At 01:27 PM 7/11/2002 -0400, Suzanne M. Topping wrote:
> >Unicode is a character set. Period.
> Each character has numerous
> properties in Unicode, whereas they generally don't in legacy
> character sets.

Each character, or some characters?

> Maybe Unicode is more of a shared set of rules that apply to
> low level data structures surrounding text and its algorithms
> then a character set.

Sounds like the start of a philosophical debate.

If Unicode is described as a set of rules, we'll be in a world of hurt.

> The Unicode consortium very wisely keeps it's focus narrow.
> It provides
> >a mechanism for specifying characters. Not for manipulating them, not
> >for describing them, not for making them twinkle.
> All true, except for some special cases (BOM, bidi issues and
> algoirthms, vertical variants, etc).Not saying those
> shouldn't be in there, just that they are useful only in the
> use of algorithms that are explicit (bi-di) or assumed (upper
> case/lower case, vertical/horizontal) etc.

Why mess up a nice clean statement simply because of a few hard facts?

I choose to look at this stuff as the exceptions that make the rule.

(On a serious note, these exceptions are exactly what make writing some
sort of "is and isn't" FAQ pretty darned hard. I can't very well say
that Unicode manipulates characters given certain historical/legacy
conditions and under duress. If I did, people would be scurrying around
trying to figure out how to foment the duress.)

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