Re: VS: A currency sign for the Rubel?

From: André Szabolcs Szelp (
Date: Fri Mar 28 2008 - 03:27:14 CST

  • Next message: Otto Stolz: "Re: A currency sign for the Rubel?"

    Michael, as to your examples:

    Art Lebedev are propagating a new sign themselves massively. They were main
    initiators of the campaign, so their shop labelling is biassed.
    Sites reporting about the campaign and competition are no valid reason
    either, as they do not demonstrate actual usage, but only proposals.

    The 17th century ruble sign from wikipedia might be encoded, but as a
    historic sign, and not as the sign of the one to emerge.

    People actually use mostly "руб" or "руб." so far (telling from having been
    there, though arguably not in every corner of the Russian Federation ;-) ).

    If the new ruble sign becomes demonstrably widespread in everyday use
    (first, I guess in lettering, on hand-written sign, as used sometimes in
    gastronomy, etc. or via fonts of the supporting designers once the idea
    catches on), an proposal would seem more justified to me.

    The result of a competition, which is neither official yet, nor used except
    for in meta-discussion (i.e. articles about the new sign/about the
    competition) and by the initiators themselves seems not encoding-worthy. The
    first is a typical case, where one would use an illustration embedded into
    plain text. The second case is ridiculous and analogous to: if I create a
    sign, let's say, the S INSCRIBED INTO A STILISED SUN for my fun and
    pleasure, I cannot have it encoded either as long as it does not catch on by
    external users (maybe by my worshippers *evil laugh*). Unicode is not to
    become the playground of wannabe sign-inventors and script-reformers.

    Don't misunderstand me. I'm not against encoding the ruble sign.
    I'd just have bad feelings about it before it a) either is accepted
    officially by an official institution or b) demonstrably widespread in
    vernacular usage.

    I am, to note, very confident, that the second case (b) will be fact soon,
    and I won't have any concern about encoding it. But that day has not come
    yet. Actually, probably also (a) will come soon as Russia is just about to
    emerge as a resurrected economic giant and the ruble's presence will grow in
    (western) press (as well)[1]. It's also a question of prestige, all major
    global forces having a currency sign.

    As I said, please don't misunderstand me, and always note, that this is just
    the expression of my personal view, which is neither an attack on anybody,
    nor trying to hinder the encoding. (Which I would not want (I'd just be
    unhappy to see it prematurely) --- nor could I do so).


    PS: For some reason, I did not get your direct reply to unicode via the
    list, only Erkki's mail (in which yours was attached).

    [1] Right now most coverage uses dollar amounts due to the dollars
    prevalence in Russia. This is however to change relatively soon as the
    Russian economy gets stronger and the dollar declines further.

    On 27/03/2008, Erkki I. Kolehmainen <> wrote:
    > Michael, we most certainly don't want to repeat the mess with the Euro
    > Currency Sign.
    > Erkki
    > Erkki I. Kolehmainen
    > Tilkankatu 12 A 3, FI-00300 Helsinki, Finland
    > Puh. (09) 4368 2643, 0400 825 943; Tel. +358 9 4368 2643, +358 400 825 943
    > -----Alkuperäinen viesti-----
    > Lähettäjä: []
    > Puolesta Michael Everson
    > Lähetetty: 27. maaliskuuta 2008 10:48
    > Vastaanottaja: Unicode Discussion
    > Aihe: Re: A currency sign for the Rubel?
    > At 09:39 +0100 2008-03-27, André Szabolcs Szelp wrote:
    > >Depends.
    > >
    > >> That's not the way it works. GOST does not own the Ruble sign. The
    > >> users do.
    > >
    > >No, not GOST, but the National Bank of Russia. :-)... kindof:
    > >
    > >As I understand, national character encoding
    > >standards and actual usage in print or
    > >manuscript to be edited are reasons for encoding.
    > No, not just national standards. And it is clear
    > that ordinary users are using a RUBLE SIGN now.
    > >By user initiative you have to demonstrate some
    > >actual usage in print. Due to the note by Adam
    > >T. that the final design has not yet been chosen
    > >by the national bank, no widespread printed
    > >actual usage will be found.
    > There is quite a lot on the internet already.
    > does not have a Latin R.
    > BUt it's listed here as well:
    > (I like the 19th-century one)
    > shows it
    > at Paratype
    > used as a graphic since 2007-08-01
    > An article from Izvestija discussing the contest
    > 2006-05-24.
    > In commercial use we can see it at
    > >Even if you'd do, you'd run into the danger,
    > >that an other design is selected finally. It
    > >would be unfortunate, if the Unicode Ruble
    > >currency sign differed from the one on the ruble
    > >notes... would be pretty confusing.
    > Not so bad. Glyphs are informative.
    > It would be useful to have a contact in the Central Bank, of course.
    > --
    > Michael Everson *

    Szelp, André Szabolcs
    +43 (650) 79 22 400

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