Re: What is a character? (was RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2009 - 22:51:46 CST

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy"

    Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

    > Now, we're all also willing to consider things like math operators and
    > dingbats...
    > Of course, there are things like BEL, DEL, DC1 and ESC that
    > indisputably are characters, yet have nothing at all in common with
    > "a" -- nothing, that is, except that they get exchanged between
    > devices and processes in the same protocols with the same kind of
    > representation...
    > We don't disagree on "a" or on “∈” (U+2208 element of); we all accept
    > (or, at least, tolerate) “✂” (U+2702 black scissors) and “𝅘𝅥𝅮” (U+1D160
    > eighth note). But when it comes to RAINBOW (e-00D, attested cases of
    > which are polychromatic) or DANCER (e-1BD, attested cases of which are
    > animated), there is disagreement.

    These "precedents" have been discussed already. BEL and DC1 and friends
    were added because 1-to-1 convertibility with ASCII, a 1967 standard,
    was paramount to the success of Unicode -- nobody questions that. The
    dingbats were added to 1.0 because they too were part of a *pre-1993*
    industry standard, appearing in laser printers of the day. The math
    operators and musical symbols were expressly stated not to set a
    precedent for encoding symbols of arbitrary scope.

    It looks like "don't think this sets a precedent for anything" is a
    vacuous statement, which means that current promises about not encoding
    additional emoji beyond the set currently promoted by Google should be
    treated with similar skepticism.

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

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jan 10 2009 - 22:53:24 CST