Re: String name and Character Name

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Apr 11 2005 - 14:16:50 CST

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    Peter Kirk wrote:

    > "Unicode character names" cannot be changed. But "Unicode character
    > names" are not the actual names of characters or their officially
    > defined names, and they cannot be because they contain well known but
    > uncorrected errors, and because actual and official character names can
    > be changed and have been changed. So "Unicode character names" are
    > artificial and meaningless constructs. As they cannot be abolished, they
    > should be formally deprecated.

    What do you gain from deprecating them? It seems to me that the Unicode character names
    just need to be recognised as what they are: imperfect mnemonic identifiers, which for
    reasons of stability will not be changed even if they are incorrect. Yes, it is annoying
    to have to explain to people that the Latvian letter that Unicode calls LATIN SMALL LETTER
    K WITH CEDILLA does not actually have a cedilla under it, but I'm not sure that
    deprecating the names achieves anything other than changing the required explanation to
    'the Latvian letter that Unicode *used to call* LATIN SMALL...'.

    The idea of having a list of alternative conventional and descriptive names for Unicode
    characters is a good one: something that would seem well suited to Professor
    Bergerhausen's project. But I'm not sure that there is anything to be gained from
    deprecating the standard character names, most of which are adequate and correct, and only
    a small percentage of which are incorrect or misleading.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    A century of philosophy, by Hans Georg Gadamer
    David Jones: artist and poet, ed. Paul Hills

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