From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 20:09:54 CST
At 04:45 PM 2/16/2005, Oliver Christ wrote:
> > Apparently, German really *does*
> > need to be able to use ß 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
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 ß, 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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