From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Sat Oct 22 2005 - 05:38:22 CST

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    On Fri, 21 Oct 2005, Asmus Freytag wrote:

    > One side effect of this stability is that it is now possible to document
    > issues about characters in a human readable way that is stable. You can now
    > write: "LATIN CAPITAL LETTER AE is really a ligature" and not have to update
    > this sometime in the future when the committee might decide suddenly that the
    > name should reflect this rather than that aspect of a character.

    That particular example is perhaps not optimal, because LATIN CAPITAL
    LETTER AE is really not a ligature. :-) Or let us say that its nature as a
    ligature is subject to interpretation and even debate.

    Anyway, discussing characters is certainly one use for the official
    Unicode names. However, in such use too, the names can be misleading.
    People may e.g. think that the presence or absence of the word LIGATURE in
    a character's name decides whether it is ligature, for any definition of
    ligature. Sometimes the names are really problematic, e.g. if you would
    like to express the orthography rule "Do not use QUOTATION MARK as a
    quotation mark." It's often not possible to avoid such problem by not
    mentioning the name, especially in a context where characters are
    generally referred to by their Unicode names. That would just call
    for protests: "But it _is_ the QUOTATION MARK by the Unicode standard!"
    Instead, it is probably better to mention the name and explain something
    about the role of Unicode names.

    I think the strongest argument in favor of keeping the Unicode names of
    characters immutable, despite the problems caused by this policy,
    is the fact that they are used in existing software. The immutability
    also guarantees that programmer can continue practice like using
    in Perl strings, as opposite to using numbers. In the vast majority of
    cases, the name is mnemonic and informative

    Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

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