[cowan: Re: Biblical Hebrew (Was: Major Defect in Combining Classes of Tibetan Vowels)]

From: John Cowan (cowan@mercury.ccil.org)
Date: Fri Jun 27 2003 - 07:29:12 EDT

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    Michael Everson scripsit:

    > Who is it who will kill the Unicode Consortium if UAX #15 were to be
    > revised? Did it occur to anyone to *ask* about the possible revision
    > of classes for the dozen or so instances that would be affected?

    The IETF, for one. IETF is already very wary of Unicode, even though
    they recognize the practical necessity of using it, but with the existing
    stability guarantees about normalization, they have managed to swallow it.
    Stability *even if wrong* is really, really important to protocol people --
    just think of all the nonfunctional stubs in the world of *diplomatic*
    protocol, maintained in the name of not changing anything.

    The W3C would also hit the roof if Unicode normalization changed radically.
    Neither party is at all happy with even the four (I think) characters
    that have already changed, and are already beginning to turn into
    optimistic pessimists (people who smile brightly, nod their heads, and say
    happily, "See, things are every bit as bad as I predicted!").

    Since the use of non-ASCII characters in things like XML and the DNS
    depends on the good will of these folks, it is very very dangerous
    to alienate them, and *they do not care* whether the case is a corner
    case or not -- _stare decisis_ is everything to them, the actual
    details little or nothing.

    Change the character classes in Unicode 4.1, and they *might* decide to
    freeze support at, say, Unicode 3.0.

    John Cowan
                    I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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