From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Dec 24 2004 - 06:42:54 CST
If such a rule exists, it means that the only supported character
*repertoire* is ISO10646.
The repertoire is the set of abstract characters, and this means that no
product can use custom assignments within the ISO10646 codepoint space which
are not backed by a standard and pulbished agreement. This would certainly
not not rule out PUAs, but any attempt to create software that will use
non-PUA codepoints which are still reserved and unassigned, or permanently
assigned as non-characters. It also means that using PUAs without an
explicit agreement will be ruled out.
ISO10646 just defines the repertoire of characters, and the assigned blocks
for encoded scripts, with a codepoint assignments, normative English and
French character names, some usage hints, and a representative glyph. It
does not define any other property.
ISO10646 does not define the charset mappings to ISO10646 streams. It does
not define the normalization forms (which are creating *distinct* strings,
although these texts may be considered as canonically or compatibility
"equivalent" with Unicode), and no compatibility or decomposition mappings!
If such rule is applied, it means that the only acceptable charsets for the
EU are those defined with a published charset mapping to legal ISO10646
codepoints. It won't prevent using software needing custom combining
classes... And it won't prevent using charsets which are not Unicode UTFs or
encoding schemes, and it won't require that all software support the
mappings to Unicode, if they are defined only with some supported but
limited charsets but that can be transcoded and interpreted externally to
ISO10646 streams of codepoints.
Under these cisconstances, a software supporting only one of the ISO-8859
charsets, or Windows ANSI or OEM codepages, or one of the legacy MacOS
encodings, is legal (it is legal because MacOS defines an explicit agreement
for its non-standard Apple logo to a well-defined PUA, this agreement being
valid only on MacOS, other systems handling the character as an unknown but
On the opposite, a software working with non-explicit or ambiguous charset
mappings would become illegal. This may effectively be a problem for
Linux/Unix softwares that are not written to correctly handling at least the
user's locale to disambiguate the charset used in filenames (the same is
true for FAT filesystems, but not for FAT32 with UTF-16 encoded LFN support
It may also be a problem for systems working with proprietary charsets that
are defined in terms of glyph variants instead of abstract characters: a
text encoded with separate glyph IDs that can't be easily be mapped to
ISO10646 codepoints would become inappropriate for some regulated European
markets (but these softwares would still be usable by users agreeing
privately with the software provider, and if the provider does not expose a
false "CE" compliance logo for its product).
But if you have pointers about more precise rules, going further than the
ISO10646 repertoire, and integrating other rules (from Unicode or other
European or International standards based on ISO10646), fee free to inform
----- Original Message -----
From: "E. Keown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2004 11:38 PM
Subject: ISO 10646 compliance and EU law
> If you reply, please cc: me--I'm always 'on vacation'
> from all lists, and I only read them online. I'm
> looking for a URL for the info below.
> A reliable friend told me that compliance with ISO
> 10646 is now part of the legal structure of the EU
> (European Union).
> He thought that it is illegal under certain
> circumstances to sell non-ISO 10646-compliant software
> in the EU.
> That is, if I develop Hebrew/Castilian software which
> uses custom combining classes or other deviations from
> Unicode Hebrew, this software cannot be sold in Spain
> (in EU since 1986).
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