From: Kenneth Whistler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jan 04 2005 - 16:20:16 CST
> From what I read now, it seems that a "claim of conformance" can be
> transitive. I would not have think of it, but if this the law, let's conform
> to it.
Well, nor am I a lawyer. But what I would say is that that is
the clear intent of both of the standardization committees in
working on and publishing their standards.
The point of all the detailed and careful work, both in terms
of encoding and in terms of wordsmithing, over the past decade,
to maintain synchronization of the two standards, is to ensure
that correct Unicode implementations get automatic buy-in as
also compliant with the International Standard 10646, *and*
to ensure the success of 10646 by enabling the widespread
implementations of the Unicode Standard to be, in fact, also
implementations of the ISO standard, even if only claiming
> Just using UTF-16 as character set, and we are registered as
> conformant to ISO/IEC 10646. Nice, after all.
Well, you would need to be using UTF-16 *correctly*. :-)
> From what you are saying here, one way
> to achieve such conformance/compliance (another distinction I am not sure I
> get correctly) is to ship Unicode-conforming devices.
And then if you need to cross all your i's (U+0268) and dot all
your t's (U+1E6D), you can get your corporate lawyer to
file a little paper someplace that says, by the way, our
company's product, Whirleygigatron 5.0, is conformant with
both the Unicode Standard, Version 4.0, and ISO/IEC 10646:2003
> I hope you are not
> implying it is the *only* way to achieve 10646-conformance ;-).
No, but it is the best practical way to achieve 10646 conformance.
If you try to write a 10646 application without reference to
the Unicode Standard, you'll be pretty limited in what you can
do, because 10646 (deliberately) says very, very little about
the actual semantics of any of the characters encoded in
You might do fine in writing and certifying a UTF-16 <--> UTF-8
converter, for example, but if you were trying to deal with
searching and sorting or writing a text editor with a
rendering component, you'd be S.O.L., as they say.
What is U+094D DEVANAGARI SIGN VIRAMA and how is it used
for representation of Hindi or Sanskrit text? You can search
10646 top to bottom and find not a clue.
> (Yes, I did
> write the part I snipped where you're saying that it is unless the software
> is insignificant.)
> > However, *being* in conformance to 10646 doesn't necessarily involve
> > making an explicit claim of conformance.
> Then what is the purpose of the whole section?
Well, the purpose of the first part of the conformance section
is to specify what it takes to be in conformance. If you then
engineer software processes to do things accordingly, they will
*be* in conformance without having to actually claim (somehow)
that they are in conformance. It is up to somebody in the
documentation, testing, marketing, or legal departments to make
the *claims* that something is in conformance.
> How does someone assure this?
By inspection, testing, or assertion.
> (I guess I do not masterize ISO 9000 enough to
> have it right, yet I seem to remember you have to write something somewhere
If you do, you do.
The point is, the Unicode Standard is deliberately set up so
that if you are using it correctly and claim conformance to
it, then you can depend on being able also to claim
conformance to ISO/IEC 10646 (if you find yourself legally
obligated to, or are required by the terms of some procurement
specification, or the like), without having to engage in some
expensive investigation to determine whether you are, in fact,
in conformance to ISO/IEC 10646 as well as the Unicode Standard.
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