Re: What is the principle?

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Tue Mar 30 2004 - 21:30:06 EST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "RE: What is the principle?"

    Michael Everson suggested this might be "preferrable":

    > PUA characters can be defined, locally and privately, according to
    > some protocal which will WORK if people write software to do what
    > they want

    Yeah, probably preferrable if you want to use the PUA. To get anything to
    work, people have to (1) write configurable software and use it, and (2)
    invent a protocol for transmitting and storing their PUA usage information
    within that software framework.

    The Unicode Consortium in no way at all prevents that.

    But merely defining some little zones in the PUA would not automagically
    make PUA transmission and usage work for all people everywhere.

    > What I see people asking for is some sort of protocol that, locally
    > and privately, between agreeing parties, they can use to say what a
    > PUA character's properties are.

    The Unicode Consortium is not preventing people from doing that. But it
    isn't within the "program of work" for the Consortium to define that
    protocol. I don't see anyone else stepping up to do it.

    > In other words, it's fine for the UTC to say "PUA characters are all
    > LTR spacing characters" but for people who need to do something else,
    > the means to do so should be made available to them.

    As Ken has pointed out, nobody is mandating what people have to use for
    these. There are a set of default values, but nobody is prevented from
    re-defining them for their own purposes. But merely defining some set of
    properties that some people think might be "useful" in part of the PUA
    doesn't automagically get them sophisticated system and application level
    software that does what they want.

    As usual this is all my own opinion and does not reflect any official
    position or policy.

    One way to accomplish a goal of having configurable character properties
    and your transmittable PUA settings in software would be to get the system
    vendors to implement systems that do it. Well, they would probably want a
    return on investment, and it seems like many of them have determined that
    this doesn't have a big payoff.

    I would suggest that perhaps the best way to accomplish a goal of having
    configurable character properties and your transmittable PUA settings in
    software would be to code it into open source software, and then use the
    open source software to compose your documents, etc. Again, the Unicode
    Consortium doesn't prevent that. And if that is really useful enough,
    someone somewhere will probably do it.

    Ken pointed to ICU and Open Office. Go ye forth and hack.


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