From: Jukka K. Korpela (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 06:17:38 CDT
On Mon, 24 Jul 2006, Michael Everson wrote:
> It seems to me that the character as proposed is a symbol found as a text
> element in a wide variety of printed and on-line sources.
I can't remember having anything like the proposed EXTERNAL LINK symbol
appear in printed sources, except in printed copies of web pages that use
an image resembling it. In online sources, as I mentioned, there is
considerable variation in the images used for the purpose. I don't think
we have sufficient grounds for deciding that a particular _character_
can be recognized.
If a character were defined, it would at most be used as _an_ external
link marker, rather than as _the_ marker. Despite the reservations I made
in my previous comment, there would be sufficient grounds for defining a
character _if_ a consistent usage and shape could be detected. However,
as I see it, this is a matter of varying usage of icon-like images as
external link markers, and defining a character shaped to match one of
the designs would not sound good. It would mean a policy decision to
favor one of the designs, and the use of such markers in general, rather
than a neutral decision to encode a symbol that has actual widespread
usage in texts.
Besides, Unicode is about plain text, and links are a hypertext matter.
Is there some need to use an EXTERNAL LINK symbol in _plain text_?
Whenever you have links, you are working with hypertext, not plain text.
The mere possibility of printing a hypertext document or saving it as
flattened to plain text does not sound like a sufficient reason for
encoding EXTERNAL LINK as a character. If an image is used as an external
link marker, it can be printed too, and in formats like HTML, it can carry
an "alt" attribute that specifies the textual replacement.
-- Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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