Re: [Private Use Area] Audio Description, Subtitle, Signing

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Mon Jul 14 2003 - 12:04:30 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: [Private Use Area] Audio Description, Subtitle, Signing"

    <Peter_Constable at sil dot org> wrote:

    > And might I also suggest that you create a Yahoo discussion group or
    > MSN community for PUA use, and then carry on discussion of ways to use
    > the PUA there rather than here?

    I don't agree -- if this was Peter's intent -- that *all* discussions of
    the PUA and its potential uses should be considered off-limits to the
    Unicode list. Some legitimate uses of the PUA include:

    * Michael Everson's and Roozbeh Pournader's provisional PUA assignments
    for ARABIC PASHTO ZWARAKAY and AFGHANI SIGN, two legitimate characters
    that cannot be represented in Unicode by any other means.

    * Provisional assignments of other characters or entire scripts that are
    genuine candidates for Unicode, to allow testing of certain features and

    * On the edge, something like the ConScript Unicode Registry, where the
    characters and scripts are normally not candidates for Unicode
    (exceptions exist: Deseret, Shavian, Visible Speech) but at least they
    ARE characters in the Unicode sense.

    Unfortunately for William and his continued efforts, compatibility
    ligatures and precomposed forms are not suitable PUA uses. These things
    *can* be represented in Unicode, unlike the examples I gave above.
    (Whether a given browser or font can display them correctly is another
    matter, but not a justification for creating new characters.) Neither
    are mechanisms to represent non-character concepts like bold, italic,
    header/footer, kumquat, ball/strike, etc. Hence the appropriateness of
    Peter's other comment:

    > Please, if you want to see things encoded as characters, then learn
    > how to use the established processes for doing so (but please also
    > learn what are and are not suitable candidates for character
    > encoding).

    As far as the "symbols to be used to indicate the availability of Audio
    Description, Subtitle and Signing in television broadcasts" are
    concerned, *if* these are actual characters that conform to the
    definition of "character" in the WG2 "Principles and Procedures"
    document, then it may be appropriate to propose them for Unicode.
    (Symbols per se are not excluded.) If not, they probably aren't
    appropriate for the PUA either.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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