RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2009 - 11:43:59 CST

From: [] On Behalf Of James Kass

>>- data exchanged in plain-text protocols consists solely of abstract
>> characters

> ...including private use or user-defined characters which
> would otherwise be unsuitable candidates for encoding.

These are getting interchanged publicly between different vendors products. That's not private use.

>>- the goal of the Universal Character Set is to be universal,
>>implying (among other things) that any set of characters with
>>significant usage in ICT industries must be considered potential
>>candidates for encoding

> ...unless they are unsuited for plain text encoding because
> of their very nature.

You're asserting that these are not, while others are not making the same a priori judgment. That's the crux of this particular debate.

>>UTC has been and remains fully aware of the potential quagmires
>>that can be encountered by starting to accept arbitrary kinds of
>>graphic objects for encoding as characters, and is determined *not*
>>to go in that direction.

> Then UTC should not be doing so.

You're asserting that to encode these would be crossing that line; I'm asserting that it would not necessarily be doing so. We are simply coming at this with different assumptions.

> How does allowing these things in now preclude other ICT industry
> sectors from making their own icon sets and exchanging them via
> plain-text protocols as private use characters?

Obviously, encoding these would not be done as a tactic to keep others from doing likewise. There are plenty of bad encoding decisions that came into Unicode because they already existed elsewhere, but it is not the act of encoding them in Unicode that teaches us that those were less than ideal choices not to be repeated.

>>It's as simple as that; no need for elaborate self-preservation
>>conspiracy theories.
> Then let's dispense with the Machiavellian theories, no matter
> how intriguing such plots might be. Let's suppose that instead
> of a bunch of committee members sitting around conspiring, their
> self-preservation instincts have kicked-in subconsciously and
> their conscious minds are behaving accordingly.

Still very far fetched.


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