From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Mar 27 2008 - 16:02:01 CST
Jim Melton wrote:
> Hmmmm...that raises an interesting question: Has it ever
> happened that a character has been encoded prior to knowing
> what the glyph will be?
A good solution is to adopt a name for such non official glyph that will not
prohibit the future adoption of a precise symbol with stronger semantics.
But it should be noted that the name "Ruble" is not specific to Russia, and
the same symbol currently used could still persist and be used for other
currencies named Ruble. Each country (or central bank) will adopt its own
policy regarding the name and representation of the currency, independantly.
So if one of the commonly used symbols were encoded now, it should not
contain anything that indicates that it is an official symbol. May be this
will be the official symbol, may be not. May be there will never be any
official symbol, but a set of juridic decisions (related to commercial
transactions with litigations) that may accept one or several symbols as
acceptable and correctly representing the currency.
The European Union needed its own symbol because the currency had to be used
in several countries with distinct juridictions, but it was needed to have
prices displayed in one member country also valid throughout the union
without discussion. Many efforts were made to give a unique name for the
currency but this has failed, and the Euro efectively has several names, and
several ways to derive it according to language. The euro has also several
standard orthographies, justified by the change of script (Latin and Greek
were used initially, now the Cyrilic alphabet is needed, and notes already
display an orthography with the Cyrillic alphabet).
So when the name can vary, how can you display prices in a language-neutral
and script-neutral way, that can be understood the same way by everyone in
the Union without possible contestation on pricing? The solution was a
single symbol backed by a standard that defined a precise glyph. So this
excluded all post proposals, notably because those proposals were in fact
used for something that did not exist still at the time it was created (at
that time it was the ECU, not the Euro).
The Euro mess in Unicode and ISO 10646 was the result of naming the old
proposed symbol "Euro", despite the Euro was still in creation (and the
competition was still officially in progress to have a specific symbol for
it) ; the symbol was used for something else. This was a naming error for
the old symbol; but anyway the old symbol persist and would have been
encoded anyway, but certainly with a different name, excluding "EURO" from
it because it was already clear that the Euro would have very strong policy
about its use. To be fair, when the old symbol was encoded, the new European
currency was still unnamed, it coudl have been named "Ecu", but other names
were also suggested like "pound", "livre", "franc" (proposed by Germans
ironically...), or some other names for older historic European currencies.
On the opposite, there's no sign that the current Ruble will be replaced
soon in Russia; even when it changed, it has kept its name, and would have
kept its symbols or abbreviations.
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