Re: Unicode Stability (Was: Re: E0000 Language Tags for Some Obscure Languages)

From: Patrick Andries (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2005 - 14:07:05 CST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Ambiguity and disunification"

    Asmus Freytag a écrit :

    > The answer is threefold:
    > On the first level, there is nothing special about major versions and
    > stability.
    > On the second level, Unicode describes how to encode content. Unlike
    > software, data rarely (if ever) gets updated once it exists. Requiring
    > existing data to be updated would effectively mean to abandon it to
    > inaccessibility after a few years. That's totally contrary to
    > Unicode's aims.
    > On the third level, there may be a time, sometime in the mists of the
    > future, when it's time to start over. In terms of Unicode that would
    > be whenever there's enough reason and momentum behind a successor
    > standard. However, as we have seen when we created the Unicode
    > Standard, existing character sets have a way of forcing a new
    > standard to be compatible, lest it be a non-starter. The same
    > pressure, magnified, would face any successor standard to the Unicode
    > Standard.
    Ever increasing chaos and entropy ?

    I suppose one solution could be to deprecate certain usages and
    characters for a few decades and then hope that by the time the
    successor character encoding comes along people have restrained from
    using the deprecated characters and data have been reconverted in the
    meantime (because, for instance, a change in the formatting or tagging
    language has forced the conversion). Of course, decades in our world of
    immediacy sounds a bit out of this world...

    P. A.

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