Re: Plane 14 Tag Deprecation Issue (was Re: VS vs. P14 (was Re: Indic Devanagari Query))

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 06:34:58 EST

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    I feel that as the matter was put forward for Public Review then it is
    reasonable for someone reading of that review to respond to the review on
    the basis of what is stated as the issue in the Public Review item itself.

    Kenneth Whistler now states an opinion as to what the review is about and
    mentions a file PropList.txt of which I was previously unaware.

    Recent discussions in the later part of 2002 in this forum about the
    possibilities of using language tags only started as a direct result of the
    Unicode Consortium instituting the Public Review.

    The recent statement by Asmus Freytag seems fine to me. Certainly I might
    be inclined to add in a little so as to produce "Plane 14 tags are reserved
    for use with particular protocols requiring, or providing facilities for,
    their use" so that the possibility of using them to add facilities rather
    than simply using them when obligated to do so is included, but that is not
    a great issue: what Asmus wrote is fine.

    Public Review is, in my opinion, a valuable innovation. Two issues have so
    far been resolved using the Public Review process. Those results do seem to
    indicate the value of seeking opinions by Public Review.

    As I have mentioned before I have a particular interest in the use of
    Unicode in relation to the implementation of my telesoftware invention using
    the DVB-MHP (Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform) system.
    I feel that language tags may potentially be very useful for broadcasts of
    multimedia packages which include Unicode text files, by direct broadcast
    satellites across whole continents. Someone on this list, I forget who, but
    I am grateful for the comment, mentioned that even if formal deprecation
    goes ahead then that does not stop the language tags being used as once an
    item is in Unicode it is always there. So fine, though it would be nice if
    the Unicode Specification did allow for such possibilities within its
    wording. The wording stated by Asmus Freytag pleases me, as it seems a
    good, well-rounded balance between avoiding causing people who make many
    widely used packages needing to include software to process language tags,
    whilst still formally recognizing the opportunity for language tags to be
    used to advantage in appropriate special circumstances. I feel that that is
    a magnificent compromise wording which will hopefully be widely applauded.

    In using Unicode on the DVB-MHP platform I am thinking of using Unicode
    characters in a file and the file being processed by a Java program which
    has been broadcast. The file PropList.txt just does not enter into it for
    this usage, so it is not a problem for me as to what is in that file. My
    thinking is that many, maybe most, multimedia packages being broadcast will
    not use language tags and will have no facilities for decoding them.
    However, I feel that it is important to keep open the possibility that some
    such packages can use language tags provided that the programs which handle
    them are appropriately programmed. There will need to be a protocol.
    Hopefully a protocol already available in general internationalization and
    globalization work can be used directly. If not, hopefully a special
    Panplanet protocol can be devised specifically for DVB-MHP broadcasting.

    On the matter of using Unicode on the DVB-MHP platform, readers might like
    to have a look at the following about the U+FFFC character.

    Readers who are interested in uses of the Private Use Area might like to
    have a look at the following. They are particularly oriented towards the
    DVB-MHP platform but do have wider applications both on the web and in
    computing generally.

    The main index page of the webspace is as follows.

    William Overington

    7 February 2003

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