From: Tjebbe van Tijen (email@example.com)
Date: Mon May 19 2008 - 17:36:10 CDT
thank you Kenneth Whistler and Benjamin Scarborough
your answers helped my understanding ...
I often have the heavy Unicode 5.0 book in my hands and for me the
understanding comes with the combination of leaving through the book
and the fixity of its pages with charts and lists and the online
data. I am structuring the different Unicode tables and other
information in my own textual/visual database system, whereby at some
moment I wanted to know the number of charts for each code block, the
number of columns, and also the number and position of the non-used
Most of these numbers could well be calculated, until I discovered
these "irregularities" of some of the code charts
By posing my question (taking the risk to sound silly) I did get a
quick and satisfying answer (I might have concluded it for myself -
in hindsight) ...
For me the printed Unicode book with its pages is also part of the
architecture of the UNIcode, though the fundaments of this global
standards reside in cyberspace, book & code are after all mutual
On 19-mei-2008, at 21:23, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
Tjebbe van Tijen noted:
> - some of the CJK code blocks that have more than 1 chart can have a
> lesser number of columns for the last code chart
> Like: 2F800 > 2FA1F CJK Compatibility Ideographs Supplement
> which has 12 columns for the first 2/3 charts and 11 columns for the
> last chard
> This exception seems not to occur with the non CJK code charts.
Actually, it does. Note, for example, the Ethiopic block, 1200..137F,
which is split for display as 12-12 columns, rather than 16-8.
> Just out of curiosity - because I am studying what could be called
> the "spatial architecture of the Unicode" -
> why is it that this in my view useful/nice regularity has its
As Benjamin Scarborough surmised, it is simply the result of
editorial decision to help balance out the display of columns
for charts bigger than 16 columns wide. The unibook program
that is used for chart formatting has various internal calculations
to assist in this: some algorithmic, some hard-coded for particular
situations. Note that the same program also decides when a
chart is narrow enough that the names list for it can be
formatted onto the right column of the same page, rather than
on the succeeding page.
These formatting decisions result from a combination of
aesthetics for page display and an attempt to minimize the
overall number of pages required for charts.
I would caution not to draw architectural conclusions about the
standard based upon such editorial contingencies that have more
to do with book design than with character set architecture.
Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information
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