From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Wed Apr 13 2005 - 10:06:26 CST
Edward H. Trager schrieb:
> For anyone to say, "it cannot be changed and won't be changed" without a very good explanation
> of *why* it cannot be changed
Actually, this has been explained. I repeat, in my own words:
- On account of a mutual agreement, before Unicode could do anything about
these character names, WG2 (the owners of the ISO 10646 standard) would
have to consent.
- These character names are meant as unique identifiers for the individual characters,
just as the Unicode numbers (only more mnemonic). And they are used, in this way,
by many standards (ISO, national standards, Internet RFCs, and more). When those
names would change, all of these standards would have to change accordingly. I guess,
no one even knows about all of the standards referring to those character names, so
they would have to be chased and enumurated, before even thinking of changing those
character names. And then, all of these standards would have to be reworked, in
accordance with the new Character Names. Neither Unicode TC nor WG2 are likely to
consent to such a paramount change.
Actually, it has also been explained why there is no need to change them, at all.
In my own words:
- Those character names are *not* meant to describe the meaning, and usage, of
the individual characters.
- The meaning, and usage, of the character blocks, and individual characters,
are standardized in the descriptive parts of the standard, including the
Unicode Character Database base.
> just sounds like some sort of hubris in this mailing list,
I think, what you are experiencing here is not hybris, but rather ennui.
You are rehashing the same statements, over and over, without even realizing
that your question has already been answered (as outlined above). This is my
only, and last, attempt to point this out to you; I hope this will end this
futile thread. In any case, I will no more contribute to this thread; you may
call this "hybris", but really it is lack of time.
> Originally, a kilogram was the mass of a cubic decimeter
> of water. But in 1889 it was redefined using a platinum-iridium kilogram prototype.
> Now there are efforts to define the kilogram in terms of the number of atoms of
> some element or another.
Take this from a learned physicist: This is quite another sort of change, a change
that does not really hurt. In this (and similar cases), the new standard defined
the unit more accurately than the former one, so that any application of the new
standard automatically fulfilled the older one. This is akin to introducing new
characters into Unicode: an application complying with Unicode 4.1 will handle
Unicode 4.0 data alright.
> there really is nothing stopping me (or you) from displaying what I believe
> are more correct names for these characters in some website, software, or document
> that I might write.
As long as you are not claiming that these are the official Unicode Character Names.
It would, however, be more useful to the general public, if you would communicate your
knowledge through the official channels, so your suggestions would end in the places
where users of the Unicode standard would expect (and hence read) them, viz. in the
annotations for individual characters (TUS, chapter 16), in the description of the
individual scripts (TUS, chapters 7 through 15), or in the Unicode Character Database,
as appropriate. This would amount to pinpointing an actual error, or inaccuracy, in TUS
(by chapter and verse), collecting evidence for the error or suggested amendmend,
checking the Errata page at <http://www.unicode.org/errata/>, wording a correction,
and delivering all of this information to <http://www.unicode.org/reporting.html>.
Admittedly, this is a lot of work, but probably less than setting up an own
WWW site. In any case, claims should be well researched, and substantiated by
> Johannes Bergerhausen's "Decode Unicode" project (prototype at http://decode.meso.net/ )
> would be a good forum where individuals can contribute clarifications of how these mis-
> named characters should more properly referred to.
Alas, my first impression of that project was disappointing: I have looked up the
German article on LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S, and found an unsubstantiated, dis-
proved theory of its origin. I had really not the time to correct that article.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%DF>, and <http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9F>,
are much more accurate; <http://decode.meso.net/> is not fit to hold a candle to
them. (But then, the latter is only at its beginning; it is hoped that more com-
petent authors will join in and produce more accurate articles.)
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