Re: ISO 10646 compliance and EU law

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Jan 04 2005 - 16:59:55 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: ISO 10646 compliance and EU law"

    On 04/01/2005 22:20, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    > ...
    >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.
    I hate to throw a spanner in the works here, but from what I have been
    led to believe the implication of the above is that a claim of
    conformance to ISO/IEC 10646 is almost meaningless. For the Unicode
    conformance clauses do not actually specify that the Unicode character
    codes defined for a purpose must be used for that purpose. Or at least
    so I have been assured. Let me explain.

    In discussions a few months ago about a controversial proposed new
    script, I was assured that acceptance of this new script did not imply
    any obligation on existing users to use the characters of the new
    script, rather than the characters of an existing closely related script
    which were already being used for the new script by many users, with a
    font change for the distinct character shapes. The situation would be
    analogous to using Latin characters with a font change for writing
    Greek, rather than the Unicode Greek characters. I was assured that
    there was nothing in the Unicode conformance clauses which prevented
    users from continuing to use such masquerading font solutions, which
    have of course been in existence since long before Unicode.

    So, would a system which consistently used the codes for Latin
    characters for writing the Greek alphabet, and distinguished Greek
    script from Latin by a font change, conform to Unicode, and to ISO/IEC
    10646? And would it be acceptable to the EU? I suspect that the EU wants
    to specify something stronger, that the actual ISO/IEC 10646 Greek
    characters are used for writing Greek script. But maybe, if they have in
    fact specified something, it is much less than they intended.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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