Re: Plane 14 Tag Deprecation Issue

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Feb 14 2003 - 08:38:45 EST

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    On the last day of the consultation period I wonder if I may add a few notes
    about tags and plane 14.

    An interesting point is that there exists the possibility of defining
    additional types of tagging using codes U+E0002 through to U+E001A.

    Yesterday evening I began wondering for what matters such additional types
    of tagging could potentially be useful. This within the constraints of
    tag characters themselves being restricted to an ASCII-like set of

    Books in libraries are often classified with a code consisting of digits and
    a full stop character. For example, the number 515.53 is on a label which
    is still on the spine of a book which I bought in a sale of withdrawn books
    from a library. So, if U+E0002 were used to introduce a tag for the library
    book classification code, then a sequence starting with U+E0002 and using
    some other tag characters could be used to classify the subject matter of
    any document which is stored in computerized form.

    Editions of books are classified using International Standard book numbers.
    A tag code could be used to state an International Standard Book Number
    using tag characters.

    New concepts could be introduced. Suppose that a new system of codes were
    introduced, perhaps called something like International Literary Work
    Numbers and that any author could obtain some of these numbers, which
    numbers would have a format carefully designed so as not to be confusable
    with International Standard Book Numbers, perhaps by having a letter other
    than X within them (X being used in International Standard Book Numbers).
    Then if someone writes a poem, he or she could allocate an International
    Literary Work Number to the poem. In a document, the code U+E0004 could
    introduce the International Literary Work Number which Work Number would be
    expressed using tag characters. If the poem were on the web, most present
    day computer systems could ignore the tag characters, yet advanced
    futuristic software could search databases for specific codes or ranges of
    codes and hopefully find the poem.

    Yes, this is a potentially far-reaching line of research and it needs to be
    allowed the freedom to flourish.

    Looking further at the matter of plane 14, I am wondering whether there is
    scope for the eventual production of a vector graphics system to be encoded
    in plane 14. I have had some good success with my eutocode graphics system
    which is produced using codes from the Private Use Area.

    Eutocode graphics uses 10 bit data input. If a system in plane 14 were
    produced, then 12 bit data input could be used, perhaps using all of the
    codes U+E2000 through to U+E2FFF for data input. Some of the codes in the
    range U+E1000 through to U+E1FFF could be used for control codes for the
    system, though not that many of them. At its present stage of development
    eutocode graphics uses only a few codes for control, all of them within the
    range U+EB00 through to U+EBFF of the Private Use Area.

    An interesting matter upon which I would appreciate some help please is as

    In early 2002 I learned of a system called ViOS, which is a
    three-dimensional interface for the web. I learned about it from the
    newsgroup which showed a graphic and
    provided a link to the website. Unfortunately, that
    website is no longer accessible. ViOS is a magnificent program, it still
    works well in offline mode, and is about 90 Megabytes in size. Inspired by
    the three-dimensional setting out of web pages in related groups used in
    ViOS, I am trying to devise a vios-inspired three-dimensional index system
    for the DVB-MHP (Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform)
    system. I am designing this as an optional part of the eutocode graphics
    system. However, this eutovios system is designed to be implementable
    within a Java program of under 100 kilobytes when compiled, hopefully less.
    So eutovios is nothing like as detailed as ViOS. I am thinking in terms of
    a plane populated with objects, each of which can have a string of Unicode
    characters as a label and a string of Unicode characters as an action string
    so that the program knows what to do when the object is entered. The
    objects at present consist of three types, namely a cylinder stood on the
    plane, a cone stood on the plane and a sphere which can be at any specified
    height. My thinking is that the spheres will be markers for clusters of
    objects, the cylinders will lead to viewing a document or obeying a program
    and that the cones will be used for cross-referencing to related topics.
    Thus a collection of learning programs for distance education will hopefully
    be indexed in a three-dimensional visual-spatial setting so that related
    topics can be placed in proximity to one another. The eutovios system
    allows a particular three-dimensional environment to be set up using Private
    Use Area codes from the range U+EC00 through to U+EFFF for data and some
    codes from the range U+EB00 through to U+EBFF for control codes, some of
    these codes being particular to the eutovios system and some, such as the
    codes for the colours of the objects, being the same codes used for
    specifying colours in the eutocode graphics system generally. The objects
    thus all have symmetry about the vertical axis, which makes drawing out a
    scene simpler than if objects such as cubes were in use. The spheres
    display as discs, the cylinders display as filled rectangles and the cones
    display as filled triangles, each displaying the same shape regardless of
    the angle from which they are viewed: they do change size though depending
    upon how near they are to the present viewing point. An interesting
    activity is thinking about what objects have a shape which is symmetrical
    around a vertical axis and which would look good in such a program and which
    are expressible with a minimum number of supplied parameter values once one
    knows which type of object has been chosen. It is essentially just some of
    those objects which could be produced in brass using a lathe only and
    without using any of the screw cutting features of a lathe.

    I have tried to find out what has happened to ViOS. Does anyone know or
    remember having seen a news item in a magazine about what has happened
    please? I recognise that this question is somewhat off-topic but I have
    tried to find out in various places and have been unable to do so and this
    list does seem to have an ability of providing answers to many questions.

    Anyway, in relation to plane 14, I am hoping that in time it will be
    possible for such a graphics system, including various three-dimensional
    capabilities to become formally encoded in plane 14 as a ring-fenced option
    for use with particular protocols. It is at an early stage at present, so
    what becomes encoded may have far greater possibilities than what is being
    encoded now. Yet what is being encoded now does work and works well. It
    allows a stream of Unicode characters from a text file to produce a
    three-dimensional scene through which an end user can then move and select

    This is all very futuristic and needs a lot more doing to it. At present I
    use a Java applet which is an extension of the original eutocode graphics
    test system which is on the web.

    The test system for the eutovios system has buttons to simulate the push
    buttons of an infra-red remote control device of a DVB-MHP television set.
    Testing is by preparing a string of Private Use Area characters in the SC
    UniPad program obtainable from and then using a copy
    and paste so as to paste the string into the text box of the applet, the
    draw button of the applet then being pushed to produce the starting point

    However, I feel that I do need to mention this now as the Unicode Technical
    Committee is about to consider what to do about tags and this is a related
    issue because it relates to plane 14. Perhaps all of plane 14 needs to be
    declared an area considered as deprecated in general terms, yet where codes
    for use with particular protocols can be defined by the Unicode Technical
    Committee, so that the potential for using such futuristic developments and
    encoding them within the Unicode framework is preserved?

    William Overington

    14 February 2003

    For discoveries,
    In Private Use Area
    Phaistos Disc Script waits
    Haiku written by William Overington.

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