Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 17:00:22 EDT

  • Next message: Jim Allan: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"

    From: <>
    > Hi,
    > It is not only insufficient for the orient. What I have learnt from different
    > mails that the proceedure to include a new character is also very bureaucratic.
    > Even the experts are very reluctant to listen to the people who uses the
    > language.
    > What we have found that this consortium has imposed codes to many languages.
    > They have not contacted (may be those who were supposed to be contancting were
    > not also aware of the situation).
    > I am surprised that Unicode consortium has not even listen to the national
    > authorities of Bangladesh regarding inclusion of two characters.
    > I feel the problem is of the attitude.
    > Mustafa Jabbar

    There are clearly two paths to have new characters encoded with Unicode: either by formal proposal by an independant group or vendor that has enough influence to have Unicode map existing encodings to codepoints, then Unicode prosing this new subset to ISO10646, or using the ISO procedure which is much more bureaucratic, and where national states and their standard authorities have a large influence.

    The agreement between the bureaucratic ISO10646 and the independant Unicode (which accepts proposal from influent provided that they donate time and money) requires some part of bureaucracy for Unicode members, and some oppenness from ISO to adapt to the market demand given via Unicode.

    The question is then who represents the best the interest of a communauty: a national standard organization working with ISO, or groups of users asking for change to their software vendors that work with Unicode, with less political decisions...

    Generally, searchers and linguists prefer to work with librarians and with their national standard organization, so they tend to use the more bureaucratic way via ISO10646, unless they have already existing large databases of pulications for which they ask a standard to Unicode to facilitate compatible interchanges...

    Publishers will work most often with software vendors and will work with Unicode, unless their publication does not have a great marketability and interests mostly searchers, in that case they will prefer financing their work by working with some national standard organism and ISO.

    The case of independant groups of users (for example Klingon supporters, or searchers studying an archaic or minor language which only interests a poor country without public support from national librarians) is difficult here: their work reaches an insufficient audience to have marketability, so they get little or no support from influent Unicode members. Also they are recognized by no national standard organism and can't influence ISO10646. The critical decision will come with support by publishers if these users can get the money needed to finance their publication.

    -- Philippe.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu May 22 2003 - 17:57:33 EDT