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

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 08:11:32 CDT

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

    From: "Michael Everson" <>
    > I have been proposing symbols piece-meal for years. It would be
    > pleasant if it were not as difficult as it has been. Many of the
    > symbols we have encoded were put there not because of any particular
    > utility, but because they were inherited from other character sets.
    > There are gaps which could (and should) be filled.

    I think that you don't mean there the gaps in existing blocks, but gaps in the set of symbols that should be encoded to complete a coherent collection.

    New larger collections of useful symbols do not necessarily have to be in the BMP, so preserving the encoding space is not an issue, unless the UTC and WG2 are still resisting against encoding symbols out of the BMP. (But then, what is the supplementary plane for symbols made for? I doubt it will ever be filled only by musical notation symbols, even if it is increased by the many musical symbols used today, or historically, such as guitar grids, airflow symbols, symbols for the position of the mouth, tongue and lips with some air instruments, pedals and other sound effects...)

    So the discussion is not muvh about which symbols should be encoded, but where they should be: in the BMP if we have evidence that it is of widespread use, and found in actual books, and not only on their cover or on packing cartons, where they are used with special style and layout but not in a regular text flow.

    Among the most attractive symbols to encode in the BMP are those found in many tourism guides, which contain thousands of addresses and evaluations. They currently need to use pictograms very often directly mixed within the normal text flow, where they are replacing long sentences. Many of those symbols are very common and used coherently across multiple books from distinct publishers, to abbreviate the presence of essential services like food (in hotels), minibar, a bed to sleep, a camping area, a private parking, baths, flowers and gifts, shops, pets allowed, or other interesting touristic attractions, like castles, museum, musical animation, plane and railway accesses... Some of those symbols are more or less already encoded in Unicode in some way, but not all. Did someone review the collection of pictograms found in common books and guides in various languages?

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