Re: Questionable definition of Unicode

From: Marion Gunn (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2008 - 12:41:23 CST

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    Strictly speaking, ISO 10646 was set up to be the ultimate of a
    series of character sets, incorporating within itself all of the
    characters of all previous sets (ISO 8859, etc.) and more, Unicode
    being a later construct whose first designers dubbed it a 'single
    encoding scheme' for 10646 and, since people in the business still
    talk in terms of character sets, without visible harm. I have no
    particular objection to being considered old-fashioned in that
    regard, but if you really think that leaves me open to being
    'misconstrued', as you put it below, I'd warmly welcome your advice
    as to which term you currently recommend instead of 'character set',

    On 24 Jan 2008, at 17:52, scríobh Jukka K. Korpela:

    > Marion Gunn wrote:
    >> _ISO 10646_ is the character set, _Unicode_ its intended 'single
    >> encoding scheme'.
    > I would strongly recommend against using the phrase "character set" at
    > all, except among highly educated (in character matters) adults.
    > "'Character set' considered harmful", wrote Dan Connolly years ago,
    > and
    > the confusion has become even more serious since that. When you use
    > the
    > phrase, you can be construed as referring to a set (repertoire) of
    > characters, a code for encoding characters as integers, or a method of
    > encoding characters as sequences of octets, or any combination
    > thereof.
    > Logically, and pragmatically, Unicode does not need ISO 10646 as its
    > basis, and vice versa. It is worth noting that they have been
    > coordinated with each other, but either of them _could_ stand on
    > its own
    > quite well.
    > Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

    Marion Gunn
    - -
    Marion Gunn * EGTeo (Estab.1991)
    27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn, Baile an
    Bhóthair, Co. Átha Cliath, Éire.
    * * *

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