Re: Questionable definition of Unicode

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Sat Jan 26 2008 - 12:55:57 CST

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    Marion Gunn wrote:

    > On 25 Jan 2008, at 13:02, scríobh Philippe Verdy:
    >> ...
    >> Unicode is what makes the 10646 standard usable and interoperable in
    >> practice for representing text....
    >> Unicode goes a little further by also
    >> defining or documenting algorithms to handle, interpret, and modify
    >> text properly while also keeping most of its meaning (something that
    >> ISO
    >> 10646 does not handle at all).
    > My target audiences would find that explanation useful, if agreeable
    > to Jukka/UTC.

    I might be missing something, as so often, but do you need to refer to
    ISO 10646 at all? I know that in some contexts, such references are more
    or less necessary, and I know that some people feel more comfortable
    with Unicode when they hear that it is strongly coupled with an ISO
    standard. But to most people, it's irrelevant. Unicode can quite well be
    explained without such references.

    And "coded character set" is something that you need when you're
    "inside", but for a first acquaintance, it's better to avoid technical
    terms as fas as possible. The Unicode standard defines a character
    repertoire, and the way in which the characters are represented using
    code numbers, and some ways to represent the code numbers (and therefore
    the characters) as sequences of 8-bit bytes (octets). - Any of these
    might be called a "character set", but to avoid confusion, it's better
    to avoid that expression at least until the concepts have been

    In the context of explaining ISO 10646, remarks like those that Philippe
    made would be appropriate and useful. The same applies to situations
    where you are talking to people who work in standards organizations or
    who have pay attention to applying ISO standards.

    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

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