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

From: JFC Morfin (
Date: Mon Aug 14 2006 - 04:04:43 CDT

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    this seems related to the understanding of what is a grapheme.
    Also to ISO 7000 (too expensive for me to have a look at)?

    At 22:56 12/08/2006, Doug Ewell wrote:

    >Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
    >>Not sure about this: it seems that these open/closed padlock
    >>symbols are not technology neutral, and have applications only on
    >>the web or computing terminals connected securely to remote sites
    >>through unsecure networks. Would you find it elsewhere, for example
    >>in printed books or papers or in PDF, except for documenting
    >>websites or in the GUI of some terminal emulation software?
    >Perhaps not. But there are plenty of characters in the U+23xx block
    >("Miscellaneous Technical") that are specific to user interfaces and
    >other computer applications. Some were part of Unicode 1.0, but
    >others were added in versions 3.0 and 3.2, under the present-day
    >character-glyph model.
    >>Well, the symbols for this function are not necessarily showing a
    >>padlock ("cadenas" in French), we also find the glyph for only an
    >>old metallic key (complete or broken), or sometimes a numbered
    >>rotating button (like on strongboxes), or a strongbox with an
    >>open/closed door. Over time, the browsers have changed the visual
    >>association of what is really a visual indicator part of the GUI,
    >>and there may be some browsers that use other clues so I'm not sure
    >>it is really a standard for the function.
    >Indeed, alternative glyphs may exist for this entity. This hardly
    >proves that the entity is not a character.
    >>So if the characters had to be encoded, I'm not sure that it would
    >>persist with this association, and so it would only remain the
    >>glyph which only represents the physical object itself. But given
    >>that various glyphs are already used, how many symbols to encode?
    >>It may even happen that in some future some hardware security tool
    >>may become standard and have a better technological background, so
    >>that web and GUI authors may want to adopt this symbol for its
    >>related stronger security, possibly associated to a newer security
    >>standard replacing HTTPS in some future and with which it would be
    >>desirable to give users a visual distinction (for example the form
    >>of the chip contacts on bank/credit/debit smartcards, or the logo
    >>of a newer international security standard).
    >We have U+239A CLEAR SCREEN SYMBOL even though the clear-screen
    >function is associated with terminals which many members of this
    >list consider hopelessly obsolete.
    >Better names for the closed and open padlock might be SECURED SYMBOL
    >I'm open to arguments that these two entities are not really
    >characters, but the argument that the preferred glyphs might change
    >in the future doesn't convince me.
    >Doug Ewell
    >Fullerton, California, USA

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