Re: Localized names of character ranges

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 15:27:14 EST

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    Doug, seconding a suggestion by Marco, wrote:

    > I agree
    > that a multilingual Unicode glossary should be assembled (possibly as a
    > volunteer project) and officially endorsed by the Unicode Consortium, so
    > users and vendors will be on common terminological ground.

    In general, I favor such an activity, although at the moment
    it would have to be something done by outside volunteers, as
    the UTC editorial committee doesn't have the bandwidth now
    (in the crunch for Unicode 4.0) to undertake more open-ended

    My caution, however, is that the terminology used by the
    Unicode Standard is still evolving -- as witness the ongoing
    arguments about some of the terminology related to the
    character encoding model. The glossary in Unicode 4.0 will
    be substantially revised in some of the key points having
    a bearing on the Unicode encoding model. And as more content
    is added to the standard, additional terms keep accumulating
    in the glossary as well.

    And it will be some time before the online glossary can be
    completely synched back up with the Unicode 4.0 glossary.

    Once people start maintaining a multilingual glossary
    based on the online glossary (or supplemented from other
    sources), the burden of maintenance will escalate rapidly
    for any change introduced to terminology. These things only
    work if there is an ongoing institutional commitment to
    maintenance and updates. Otherwise all the translated
    versions start to get out-of-synch quickly, both with
    the English original and with each other. This can lead
    to dangerous misunderstandings among people who assume that
    their own translated version is accurate.

    So if anyone wants to undertake such an effort, don't
    forget to provide for ongoing maintenance and for the
    fact that eager volunteers tend to drop like flies when
    repeatedly forced to update their work at irregular


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