Re: Unicode Stability

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2005 - 23:16:44 CST

  • Next message: Curtis Clark: "Re: Ambiguity and disunification"

    Kenneth Whistler <kenw at sybase dot com> wrote:

    >>> 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 ?
    > No, just lengthening lists of conversion tables that systems
    > need to support, with old, old ones eventually dropping off the
    > list as systems eventually obsolete them from non-use and as
    > the archaic data stores that exercised them become unused
    > and inaccessible.

    I thought Patrick's question was interesting because of the potential
    chaos and entropy that comes from dragging along outdated conventions
    about character usage, not so much the characters themselves..

    Unicode introduced a pair of simply delightful characters, U+2028 LINE
    SEPARATOR and U+2029 PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR, that promised to do away with
    the confusing and conflicting practices regarding CR and LF once and for
    all. The Unix and Windows/DOS and Macintosh worlds would finally be
    able to interchange text files without all that petty CR/LF conversion,
    or the frustration of tools that won't accept each other's line-ending

    Tragically, U+2028 and U+2029 are almost completely unused today, while
    the CR/LF silliness continues. Ironically, it was probably the success
    of UTF-8, with its promise of ASCII compatibility, that spelled the end
    for U+2028.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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