Re: Draft 3 of the proposal to encode an EXTERNAL LINK SIGN in the BMP

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Tue Aug 08 2006 - 13:03:06 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Draft 3 of the proposal to encode an EXTERNAL LINK SIGN in the BMP"

    On Tue, 8 Aug 2006, Mark Davis wrote:

    >> but there are still many
    > common symbols that it would be useful to encode as characters, even
    > if there is not clear evidence of their use in a plain text context.
    > Here I disagree. If there is not strong evidence of their use in a
    > plain-text context, then we don't have any call for encoding them.

    Fine! I was afraid this discussion, and maybe even Unicode policy, was
    taking a rather disturbing direction. There are surely many symbols that
    many people would like to see as characters, for various reasons. But
    encoding symbols as characters just because people like them would result
    in confusion and waste of time, effort, and encoding space.

    It isn't crystal clear what "plain text context" means, and I think this
    should be clarified, thereby clarifying the position on coding symbols,
    too. In the most typical case, "plain text context" means paragraphs of
    text, copy text. I guess we need to include small fragments of text, like
    package labels, too. But as we move to things like maps, road signs, and
    illustrations, all of which contain text, I think we need to make a
    distinction between symbols that are used _inside_ text and symbols that
    are used _along with_ text. (One might say that even the ESTIMATED SYMBOL
    is a borderline case, if not on the wrong side of the border, though of
    course it will remain encoded. But _similar_ symbols, which are used in
    conjunction with text but not in text, need not be encoded.)

    Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

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