A certain committee?

From: Jill Ramonsky (Jill.Ramonsky@aculab.com)
Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 06:07:33 CST

Now THIS intrigues me.

Who were this "certain committee"? And why did they have so much control
over the Unicode Consortium that they could force the introduction of a
new character block that nobody had ever previously used? What was this
"abuse of UTF-8" of which you speak. Indeed, what /is/ an "abuse" of
UTF-8? What does the phrase even mean?

How can you possibly add a block of characters to Unicode and then say
"the UTC sincerely hopes that they never get used at all"? (Particularly
when there are still people around whose actual real characters are
still not being added).

If this "certain committee" had intended to (falsely) declare something
as UTF-8 and then embed something like:


where <XXX> and <YYY> are invalid UTF-8 byte-sequences, then so what?
That would simply mean that "a certain committee"'s code wouldn't then
interoperate with the rest of the world. Why is that any business of the

Hell, if only the KLI had thought to implement the Klingon alphabet in
invalid UTF-8 sequences - then maybe the UC would have added Klingon
characters just to shut them up, saying things like "it's not really a
script", and "the UTC sincerely hopes that they never get used at all".
Could have saved an awful lot of time!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@mercury.ccil.org]
> Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 12:43 PM
> To: Jill Ramonsky
> Cc: unicode@unicode.org
> Subject: Re: Klingons and their allies - Beyond 17 planes
> Jill Ramonsky scripsit:
> > So, if I have understood this correctly (which is by no
> means certain),
> > these tag characters were added to Unicode in the vague
> hope that some
> > people might one day start using them, or on the off-chance
> that someone
> > might one day need them.
> Not.
> They were added in order to ward off an abuse of UTF-8 by a certain
> committee that insisted it needed lightweight language tagging in
> a certain computer protocol. The tags were never a "script".
> Everyone
> on the UTC sincerely hopes, I believe, that they never get
> used at all.
> For 99.9% of all use cases, ordinary markup is the Right Thing for
> language tagging.

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