Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Jan 03 2009 - 16:23:57 CST

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    Asmus Freytag <asmusf at ix dot netcom dot com> wrote:

    > Unicode was definitely designed in firm opposition to ISO 2022 as well
    > as ISO 10646 DIS-1 which all use(d) stateful controls to achieve
    > code-set switching. Trying to reintroduce this, for example for
    > private use set switching, is to take aim at one of the core design
    > goals for the standard.

    I contend that encoding fad symbols with only a very short history of
    use, in a niche environment, some of which depend on color and animation
    for their identity, takes aim at several different core design goals.

    >> (I almost wrote "chirping." Are audio-enabled characters on the
    >> horizon?)
    > Been there, done that: U+0007, the control code to ring the BELL on
    > your terminal predates Unicode by decades!

    Nice. But TUS 5.0 doesn't list U+0007 in Table 16-1 (p. 533) as one of
    the "Control Codes Specified in the Unicode Standard." Neither is it
    treated in any special control-code way in SCSU (UTS #6), unlike NUL and
    CR and LF. The implication is that UTC doesn't consider BEL as a
    control code whose use is "widespread and important to
    interoperability," whereas the whole point of encoding emoji seems to be

    > PS: I'm content to allow the proposers to suggest the use of
    > 'cartoon-style' drawings that suggest movement by graphical means. If
    > that's what they end up proposing and if that is satisfactory for
    > interoperability purposes, then I have no further problem. (I also
    > would not have a problem if user agents that display yellow emoticons
    > were to give a colorful rendition of U+263A).

    I don't mind at all if characters *can* be colored and animated, by any
    vendor who chooses to do so. I do mind if they *must* be colored and/or
    animated in order to retain their identity, or be distinguishable from
    other such characters.

    Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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