Re: Dublin Conference: Re: ISO/IEC 10646 versus Unicode

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed Jul 24 2002 - 12:03:14 EDT

Marion Gunn <mgunn at egt dot ie> wrote:

> I am genuinely curious to know if Unicode still has an unusual company
> structure of only one indian and many chiefs (a US expression, no
> insult), or whether it now, like most IT companies, employs plenty of
> indians and only a few chiefs (directors).

For a small company (~12 employees) in the IT business, it is not at all
unusual to see a "top-heavy" structure that would be unacceptable for a
large company or in another business, such as manufacturing.

> I know ISO/IEC 10646 can not be made any exception to ISO rules which
> demand a review every 5 years, and I would like to know what stage it
> is at now, or what the main elements driving/preventing WG 2 progess
> on that may be.

ISO/IEC 10646 is regularly revised and updated, most prominently in
2000, and two major amendments are currently in the FPDAM balloting
stage. Work is constantly in progress on 10646. This is not at all
comparable to an ISO standard like 646 that lies dormant for years at a
time, necessitating a 5-year review to keep the standard from collecting
cobwebs and irrelevancy.

> I also still want to know about implementaions (Unicode may not
> consider its brief to cover implemenations, the companies which
> combine to make the consortium sure do, and it would be nice of them
> to say how many such implementations are now MES/BMP-compliant, or
> whatever - please cut through the terminology to the meaning).

I know there are some consortia in the software industry which actually
end up creating software products, but the Unicode Consortium may be
more appropriately likened to the Lotus-Intel-Microsoft collaboration of
<mumble> years ago, which developed the Expanded Memory Specification
(EMS) and then left it to the individual companies to create
applications, memory boards, etc. which actually used the spec.

Unicode does not create, or even certify or register, implementations of
its standard. I have been paying attention to Unicode for 10 years now,
at least casually, and I have never seen anything from the Unicode
Consortium that gave me the impression they were in the implementation
business. Member companies, yes, but not the Consortium.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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