Unicode's Purpose/Goals [was: Re: Tamil 0B83: Tamil Aytham and Devanagari VisargaL]

From: Jeroen Ruigrok/asmodai (asmodai@wxs.nl)
Date: Fri Apr 01 2005 - 02:24:41 CST

  • Next message: Johannes Bergerhausen: "Re: U+0023"

    -On [20050401 06:52], Doug Ewell (dewell@adelphia.net) wrote:
    >There are other characters in the standard that have misleading or even
    >incorrect names. These will not be changed either, and it is not due to
    >any effort to insult anyone, or anyone's culture, nation, language,
    >religion, or heritage.

    The only problem, Doug, that I see is that more and more people turn to the
    Unicode standards as a sort of reference work aside from the assignments it

    I must admit it was kind of my perception as well before I really dug into
    the Consortium's goals.
    And I think this misunderstanding lives with more people.

    I must say that the What Is Unicode page is misleading in the sense that it
    seems to say less than what I just read on the list here.

    To quote from http://www.unicode.org/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html :

    "Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the
    platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language."

    On the list I now see that Unicode also assigns unique strings to

    Also it does not make clear that the prime motivation of Unicode is
    stability, not consistency/accuracy.

    I am not off here am I? It just seems to me that the website isn't quite
    helping in clearing the misinformation from the goals I see discussed over
    and over on this mailinglist.

    Also take the FAQ:

    "Q: How does Unicode play in internationalization?

    A: Unicode is the new foundation for this process of internationalization."

    But if people will be using this as a guide for i18n and checking the
    characters along with their description and find totally different names
    from what they are used to it will start to confuse people. Especially
    given later in the FAQ:

    "Q: What does Unicode conformance require?
    It's OK to be ignorant about a character, but not plain wrong."

    Which people will take up to correct the specification on wrong

    From chapter 3.1 of the specification:

    "Each version of the Unicode Standard, once published, is absolutely stable
    and will never change."

    That sounds/reads to me, given the part later on in that paragraph stating
    "[I]f future versions of these implementations or specifications upgrade to a
    future version of the Unicode Standard, then some changes may be
    necessary", that in-between versions changes can be made with regard to the
    names of certain characters. Yet from what I gather on the lists recently
    it seems that this stability is even carried over across versions. This
    seems to conflict the paragraphs below the ones I quoted about major and
    minor updates.

    Perhaps I am merely reading things wrongly, perhaps the site and the
    consortium's goals need to be made even more clear, and perhaps the truth
    lies in the middle.

    Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven <asmodai(at)wxs.nl> / asmodai / kita no mono
    Free Tibet! http://www.savetibet.org/ | http://ashemedai.deviantart.com/
    http://www.tendra.org/   | http://www.in-nomine.org/
    Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far...

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Apr 01 2005 - 02:27:27 CST