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

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Fri Oct 17 2003 - 09:38:14 CST

Jill Ramonsky wrote:

> If we had an infinite codespace, we wouldn't need a private use area.
> If a private citizen said "I want some codepoints for some symbols I
> just invented for my pet fish" then there would be no problem saying
> "Sure thing, dude, you can have all the codepoints between
> U+486766107743000 and U+486766107743FFF.

Please take a look at the following:

These pages describe a script I invented 23 years ago, before there was
a Unicode. The script turns out to have some features that fit neatly
into the Unicode model, such as combining marks and ligation, so it
seemed like a neat thing to propose for the CSUR.

But it does NOT, under any circumstances, belong in Unicode proper. It
has ONE USER that I am aware of, in all of history -- the one writing
this message -- plus two other one-time users who have sent me e-mails
in it. That does NOT justify adding it, along with all the other "pet
fish" symbols and TAFKAP glyphs and things other high school kids have
dreamed up, to a character encoding standard that will be implemented
and used worldwide.

For example, if you want to render my script correctly, you need to
perform mandatory ligation and honor certain requests for optional
ligation. You also need to position the combining mark correctly, over
the vowel portion of a VC or CV ligature, not over the center of the

Should these details be added to the corpus of a universal standard, so
that users and implementers worldwide have to read it (or skip over it),
and commercial rendering systems be asked to implement this rendering
behavior, when there are more fish in my tank than worldwide users of
the script? Absolutely not. I mean, sure, it'd be NICE, but there are
5 billion of us. Let's get our priorities straight.

The keepers of CSUR, John Cowan and Michael Everson, who by that very
fact have shown above-average interest in the encoding of Klingon and
Zírí:nka and Ewellic, have already explained why these scripts don't
belong in Unicode. 21-bit space or 31-bit space is not the issue. My
script, if encoded, would occupy less than 0.006% of the space currently
available in Unicode.

> In such a system no application need ever be rejected, for any reason.
> Inclusion would be automatic for every submission.

Nobody would ever use such a standard.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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