RE: Uppercase variant of U+00DF LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S ( "German sharp s", "" )

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 20:09:54 CST

  • Next message: Elliotte Harold: "Re: UppercasevariantofU+00DFLATINSMALLLETTERSHARPS("Germansharps","=?iso-8859-1?q?=DF")"

    At 04:45 PM 2/16/2005, Oliver Christ wrote:
    > > Apparently, German really *does*
    > > need to be able to use as a capital letter (whether as a
    > > separate letter or caseless).
    >Shouldn't the standardization institutions of the German-speaking
    >countries first take care of that problem and then see that it's
    >introduced into Unicode? If there's a problem, than those standardization
    >bodies (like DIN) should be the ones who drive it.

    Of course, standardization bodies have a way of driving such issues.
    However, the current case is interesting in that it precisely is not
    *standard* usage, as the official orthography says to use SS. Standards
    bodies can sometimes focus on the official orthography to an extent that
    lets them ignore what people are *actually* using. Unicode is, by its
    charter, universal in scope. As long as there is widespread enough use to
    support standardization at its level, Unicode is not limited to officially
    sanctioned uses.

    Just the same way that it supports both modern and historical characters
    (the latter are also rarely supported by other standardization bodies) and
    the same way that it supports the needs of different types of users
    (business, technical, publishing, academic and bibliographic) which in the
    past have been served by different sets of standardization bodies (or at
    least different sub-organizations within them).

    >Otherwise it's like saying "hey guys, here you have an upper-case , not
    >sure whether you actually need it, but please now change all your computer
    >keyboards, and, sorry, but 8859-1 doesn't work any more for your language!" ;-)

    Whether the input comes from a standardization body or an expert in the
    field, the answer can and should never be: "..not sure whether you actually
    need it, but please now change all your..". In fact, some of the stability
    policies adopted by the Unicode Consortium have been put into place to fend
    off ill-considered input by official standards organizations (and others)
    that would have needlessly invalidated some aspect of the standard.


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