W/o for without! (Was Re: Draft 3 of the proposal to encode an EXTERNAL LINK SIGN in the BMP)

From: pemuro (pmr@informatik.uni-frankfurt.de)
Date: Fri Aug 18 2006 - 09:07:17 CDT

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    Dear Asmus Freytag,
    I liked your documentation on other phonetic symbols in dictionaries -
    also crossed hammers, compass (for engineering)....
    I have cherished M. Webster's phonetics, syllable-boundaries ... WITHOUT
    RESPELLING. They packed into the one volume of their Collegiate
    dictionary where you would need to open at least 4 separate volumes of
    the German Duden (meaning with pronounciation, orthographie with
    hyphenation, etymology, thesaurus). It is much too much trouble for me
    to look up the same word in more than one volume, when I usually can
    find it one! Part of the place saving is the use of barred th digraph
    ..., abbreviations as w/o.. symbols for trades...
    Did you submit this documentation as a proposal? Or has it become
    support for a more general proposal as you suggest below?

    Asmus Freytag wrote:
    > 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.
    > A./

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