Re: Beyond 17 planes, was: Java char and Unicode 3.0+

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 14:16:01 CST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick McGowan" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2003 8:52 PM
Subject: Re: Beyond 17 planes, was: Java char and Unicode 3.0+

> Philippe Verdy wrote:
> > It's true that there is no plan in Unicode to encode something
> > else than plain text for existing or future actual scripts. But
> > ISO10646 objectives are to also to offer support and integrate
> > almost all other related ISO specifications that may need a
> > unified codepoint space for encoding either plain text or their
> > own objects.
> Interesting. I've never heard this. Please point to a document that states
> such objectives for WG2.

I'm not quoting exactly their sentences. This is just the general idea
behind ISO which is to produce a coherent set of standards that should
be accepted and followed by governments, industries and people
developping interchangeable products or services.

Standards should always be designed with the idea of integrating well
with other standards, without introducing contradictory objectives.

It's true that none of the ISO standards are mandatory, but they
are generally accepted and implemented as best as possible within
some economical limits. It's also true that there are contradictions
between all the standards supported by ISO, and they are amended,
obsoleted or replaced when needed. But new standards are constantly
added and developped, and neither Unicode's UTC or ISO's WG2 will
be able to avoid that.

In a more recent history, the compatibility issues between the Unicode
standard and W3C's XML has received some focus. There are still
challenging and not all resolved and highly discussed to document
somewhere which conflicting rule must first apply and how the other
standard is affected or limited in its applications.

By saying "one standard fits all", you seem to pretend that all
interchanges of information are designed and assumed to be
global, forgetting that interchanges are much more complex and
occur in a mesh of partially related groups. To get a standard
usable and unifed worldwide is a long task, and most interchanges
can't wait for that delay as they don't need to be global to be
economically viable. What is really important is the mutual agreement
between involved parts, which is much easier to rich rapidly. Even in
that case, such agreements do not need to be permanent (infinite)
as these agreements can be amended by the interested people
themselves. Thanks, this allows innovation and creation and a rapid
growth of mutual exchanges.

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