Re: Code Point -- What is the integer?

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Fri Apr 29 2005 - 10:39:49 CST

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: Code Point -- What is the integer?"

    At 15:17 +0300 2005/04/29, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > > An abstract character, as opposed to a character, is a formal concept
    >> within the Unicode standard. This is fact mentioned in the
    >> "The word abstract means that these objects are defined by convention."
    >I've noticed that too, but it really puzzles me. On the other hand, the
    >scope of the definition seems to be that document only.

    That seems to be a problem with the current Unicode standrd, that
    concpets are not globally defined in a comprehensive way.

    >What is a character (generally, as opposite to abstract character)
    >that is _not_ defined by convention? The very idea seems to postulate an
    >ontology where concepts can exist independently of human life.

    The principle (as I see it) is that there is an intuitive notion of a
    "character", which varies with user and context. As that concept is
    impossible to capture, in a technical document, one introduces a
    formal notion, called "abstract character" then, which is intended to
    approximate the intuitive notion(s) of a character, but which is
    clearly a formalization that may also depart from it. This is then a
    typical scientific approach.

    >My gut feeling is that "abstract" is just an attribute that has been
    >thrown in different contexts - undoubtedly in an attempt to clarify
    >things, but often failing to do that.

    So then again, it could be that Unicode does not have made these
    things clear enough.

       Hans Aberg

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