Re: Keys. (derives from Re: Sequences of combining characters.)

From: John Cowan (
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 11:59:25 EDT

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    William Overington scripsit:

    > Well, it depends what one is trying to do. If one wishes to establish a
    > system whereby proprietary intellectual property rights exist, then a
    > proprietary coding can be a good idea.

    That is the function of encryption.

    > >XML is the way to go.
    > Maybe, maybe not. The issue of U+003C being used to mean LESS-THAN SIGN in
    > documents which mix ordinary text and markup may or may not, depending upon
    > the application, be a problem.

    Since there are several standard ways to represent the semantic LESS-THAN
    SIGN in XML ("<" is most typical, but "<" also works), there is
    no problem, only a little extra work as tradeoff. After all, why not
    invent your own character code as well as your own markup language?

    > The keys idea is pushing the envelope. As spin off from this discussion,
    > maybe the XML people, and the Unicode Technical Committee, will do something
    > about having special characters for the XML tags rather than using U+003C
    > and thereby help people wanting to place mathematics and software listings
    > in the same file as markup.

    MathML is a markup standard for mathematical text that is an application of
    XML, so people "wanting to place" etc. need no further help.

    Don't hold your breath, and don't *mutcheh* us about it.

    > What is wrong with private encodings?

    Interchanging them does not scale.

    > People may ignore them if they wish.

    They will, they will.

    > High level application semantics assigned to particular code points are
    > potentially very useful. I have published various documents on the web
    > about them with Private Use Area allocations for various items such as
    > colour and point size for text.

    Of course you can use the Private Use Area for whatever you like. A character
    standard, however, is intended for encoding *characters*. It is not intended
    as a source of useful integers -- for that, apply to Dedekind.

    John Cowan                         
            "You need a change: try Canada"  "You need a change: try China"
                    --fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know

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