Re: String name and Character Name

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 09:01:32 CST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: String name and Character Name"

    On 25/04/2005 12:28, Otto Stolz wrote:

    > ...
    > You have written:
    >> I would expect you to understand that nowhere in the above quotation
    >> is there even the slightest suggestion that "the intended purpose of
    >> the nameslist [is only] providing an unique and immutable identifier",
    > I think, the quote above says exactly that the intended purpose of
    > the nameslist is providing a unique and immutable identifier.
    > So, it's probably the emphasis on the "only" purpose of the character
    > names you are missing? ...


    > ... But it goes without saying, that this rule
    > excludes every usage not compatible with it. As we have seen in this
    > thread, the character names (without the aliases, cf. infra) are not
    > apt for a user interface, just because they are immutable.

    OK, but it is not immediately obvious to ordinary users that
    immutability makes the names not apt for a user interface. Indeed this
    does not seem to have been clear to the TUS editors, nor to software
    writers for Microsoft, BabelPad etc who use these names in user
    interfaces. So it would make sense to spell this out more clearly.

    > You have continued:
    >> [I would expect you to understand that nowhere in the above quotation
    >> is there even the slightest suggestion that the intended purpose of
    >> the nameslist ] "does not explicitly include the task of supporting
    >> users in identifying characters".
    > Do you really expect a standard explitely stating what it "does not
    > explitely include"? I deem this a logical impossibility akin to the
    > Epimenides paradox.

    Maybe not. But I would expect a standard written in the style of TUS to
    clarify particular known problem areas like this one, in the light of
    TUS decisions on what a character name should mean.

    > ...
    > Actually, this quote from the subsection "Aliases" unabridged reads thus:
    >> Because the formal character names may differ in unexpected ways from
    >> commonly used names (for example, PILCROW SIGN = paragraph sign), some
    >> aliases may be useful alternate choices for indicating characters in
    >> user interfaces.
    > Now, here we have TUS mentioning character names in user interfaces.
    > Thank you from pointing me there :-)

    Ahh, the smoking gun! Thank you. At this point TUS text certainly needs
    to be changed to conform to the intended restricted usage of character
    names. There are probably hundreds of other cases, but this one is very

    > ... Hence the above sentence simply says: "If the
    > case mapping is obvious, we will not clutter this list with it; however,
    > if it is not obvious, we will mention it in an annotation. In any case,
    > you can look at the Unicode Character Database, which is comprehensive,
    > in this respect."
    OK, but the case mapping is obvious only if the character name is parsed
    as a meaningful string, against the principle that it should be
    considered only a meaningless (but unique and stable) identifier.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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