Re: What Unicode Is (was RE: Inappropriate Proposals FAQ)

From: Barry Caplan (
Date: Fri Jul 12 2002 - 20:41:24 EDT

At 03:54 PM 7/12/2002 -0700, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
>Suzanne responded:
>> > 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.
>O.k., so now before asserting or denying that "Unicode ... is
>a shared set of rules", it would be helpful to pin down
>first what you are referring to. That might make the ensuing
>debate more fruitful.
Actually, it was me, not Suzanne, that called "Unicode" a shared set of rules. As Ferris Bueller once said "I'll take the heat for this."

I was aware of all of the uses of Unicode that you listed. I have no quarrels with any of them. They do point to the fact that the word is overloaded with definitions. Which means that readers have to choose the appropriate one from the context. The context of the statement above is that the "Unicode" referred to is the Standard, and all associated documentation. Not Unicode the Consortia which manages the Standard. Not Unicode the way of life :)

I did intend to throw open a debate about the long term future of Unicode the Standard and by extension Unicode the Consortia. Since Suzanne is writing "What is Unicode and is not Unicode FAQ", I think the answer to that is going to be very definitely colored by the answer to the related question "What will Unicode become?", e.g. Unicode 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, etc.

See my previous msg, subject line: "Hmm, this evolved into an editorial when I wasn't looking :) " for some thoughts on that subject.

Barry Caplan

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Jul 12 2002 - 19:00:15 EDT