Re: String name and Character Name

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 09:10:53 CST

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    On 25/04/2005 14:09, Otto Stolz wrote:

    > Hello all,
    > let me summarize the issues in this whole thread, as I see them:
    > - Character names are unique and stable.
    > - Most characters names are apt to characterize the character,
    > in some way (usage) or the other (appearance).
    > - Some character names contain typos, are misnomers, not universally
    > understood, or even debated on. For these, TUS provides alias names.
    > - Aliases are informative and may be updated.


    > - Some contributers to this threat have pleaded for deprecating the
    > character names, altogether; this amounts to throwing out the baby
    > with the bathwater. Remember: the overwhelming portion of the
    > character names is just fine.
    Not agreed. The last sentence is true enough. But why is stability
    considered to be the baby and correctness and usefulness the bathwater?
    At this point you seem to be alluding to an offlist message which I
    received and perhaps you also did. In response to that I wrote to Asmus:

    > I fail to understand why stability of these names is considered to be
    > so fundamentally important - unless it is just that it is forced on
    > you by ISO. After all, they are only, in your own words, "unique and
    > immutable identifier[s]" with no semantic content, and as such they
    > are redundant because the U+xxxx identifiers are also "unique and
    > immutable". There may be some badly designed software which relies on
    > stability, I agree. And there may be some temporary confusion among
    > users while names are changed, but this is no worse than the permanent
    > confusion among users if the incorrect names are perpetuated.

    Note that when I talked about names being changed, I was thinking of
    changes to the names being recommended for use in user interfaces, not
    of changes to the immutable official list of Unicode character names.

    > - TUS 16.1 suggests to implementors presenting the aliases together
    > with the character names, in user interfaces. I deem this a viable
    > solution for user interfaces in English. ...

    I disagree. And it seems that the UTC also disagrees, if they indeed
    hold to their principle that "the intended purpose of the nameslist was
    deliberately *reduced* to providing an unique and immutable identifier"
    - which rules out these names being used in user interfaces, whether or
    not together with aliases. It is just that their principle has not yet
    worked its way through to the text properly.

    > - For localized user interfaces, a semi-official list of localized
    > character names would be useful; CLDR is the obvious place for
    > this kind of information.

    And why should English users be denied in perpetuity the privilege of an
    accurate list of names, if this is made possible for other languages?

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)
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