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

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 10:01:11 CDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Public Signage"

    On 8/8/2006 3:59 PM, Michael Everson wrote:
    > .... Not because we want to dump thousands of dreck-characters into
    > the standard. But because we know a lot about what would make sensible
    > additions to the set of usable symbols that we've got.
    > So which is it? The noble heart-shaped exclamation point that no one
    > no one no one uses? Or the accursed do-not-litter man, ubiquitous but
    > shunned by the UTC?
    Well, by definition the do-not-litter sign could be considered a
    no-dreck character ;-)

    More seriously, there are many symbols for which widespread use makes a
    character based solution appealing - so that you get the benefit of
    document portability, searchability, ability to do other semantic
    processing etc. that comes with encoding semantics on the character
    level as opposed to relying on the insertion of pictures.

    There's also the issue of the fact that our existing repertoire is very
    one-sided towards US and in some cases Asian practice, because of the
    sources that were used for Unicode 1.0. In particular, European usage of
    common symbols is poorly supported. But there are also some common
    symbols used in Asia that are not supported because they did not occur
    in legacy sets (for example the little sound-recording symbol that looks
    like a black rectangle with a white double loop inscribed).

    As a result, I'm happy to see that some people are working on proposals
    to address this, so that as a result, the limits that Unicode draws on
    supporting symbols as characters leave room for a more consistent set.
    As with all proposals, it will be necessary to review and fine tune them.

    There's a problem specific to single character proposals because the
    nature of the proposal is all-or-nothing, rather than allowing
    subsetting or assigning different levels of priority. Because of this,
    UTC decisions on such proposals rarely result in useful precedents.


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