Re: What is the principle?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 17:41:53 EST

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    On 30/03/2004 13:29, D. Starner wrote:

    >"Dominikus Scherkl (MGW)" writes:
    >>I would expect any application to allow _all_ properties to
    >>defined by the user for each and any PUA charakter.
    >>If not so, it's a bug in the application! (at least if it can
    >>handle charakters with the same properties elsewhere in the
    >That's a nice theory. But in practice I don't know of a single
    >program that allows you to change the properties of Unicode
    >characters without a recompile. You'd really need a standard
    >format for defining the PUA, because even Unicode geeks would
    >get tired of inputing the various properties by hand into every
    >I think Unicode made the PUA too hard to use, deliberately or
    >through apathy. If there were some standard way to announcing
    >the system being used or even to segregate characters by users,
    >it might be usable. But in practice, cuneiform PUA usage in
    >plain text was broken due to concerns about confusion, and
    >Klingon webpages tend to get their characters mixed with random
    >junk from other pages. It's almost more reliable to use the
    >ASCII or Latin-1 area for your PUA characters than the PUA
    >itself--at least there, the programs won't usually switch fonts
    Absolutely. The difficulties of using the PUA encourage people not to
    use it, but instead to use various kludges which don't accord with
    Unicode. Of course the kludges are no more non-conformant than the
    applications which claim to support Unicode but don't do what the
    standard clearly states that they should do.

    In the circumstances I shall be forced to advise the person I am helping
    to use the already defined, but so far unused, variation selectors as if
    they were PUA variation selectors. These will collate and display as
    required, i.e. be ignored, with any conformant rendering system. I know
    this is something which the standard somewhere tells me should not be
    done, but that doesn't seem to stop Microsoft and others, so why should
    it stop me?

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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