RE: Defined Private Use was: SSP default ignorable characters

From: Language Analysis Systems, Inc. Unicode list reader (
Date: Wed Apr 28 2004 - 14:38:55 EDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Defined Private Use was: SSP default ignorable characters"

    >> Private-use characters are assigned Unicode code points whose
    >> interpretation is not specified by this standard and whose use may be

    >> determined by private agreement among cooperating users.
    >Note the last word. The private agreement is not supposed to be between

    >all parties, including software developers. It is supposed to be


    They're talking here about users OF THE STANDARD, which by definition
    means software systems and the people who develop them. (Human) users
    interact with computers, and with coded representations of data, through
    software. If the software doesn't do the right thing, the users can't.

    The software (in many cases) isn't simply a neutral vessel through which
    the data passes. The software is the thing that imposes semantics on
    streams of bits in the first place. The only way there can be a private
    agreement between humans to impose a certain set of semantics on a set
    of bit patterns is if they have a private agreement to use software that
    imposes those semantics on those bit patterns. OF COURSE the software
    has to be a party to the private agreement.

    --Rich Gillam
      Language Analysis Systems, Inc.

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