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

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 17:09:00 CST

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy"

    Doug's recent post complained about the nature of "precedent" when
    applied to character encoding. I think, that complaint was based on a

    There are roughly four kinds of initial state when a proposal is made to
    encode a certain entity.

    If there's a "precedent", that more means entities with similar function
    and similar levels of documentation will be admitted in the future with
    less discussion about whether that type of entity deserves encoding, but
    perhaps discussion of whether the particular proposed entity runs to
    type and isn't duplicating anything. That's essentially what's meant.

    "No precedent" means that the discussion about justification starts from
    scratch. That's certainly the case here.

    There's a kind of anti-precedent, when an earlier proposal had
    essentially been rejected with prejudice. Later proposals for similar
    entities will then be dismissed, unless it can be shown the that earlier
    decision doesn't apply (special case) or was wrong and should be
    overturned. That requires particularly compelling circumstances, of course.

    Finally, there are stability guarantees that outright prohibit the
    encoding of certain entities with certain properties.

    If a proposal is accepted with the agreement that it doesn't set a
    precedent, the no-precedent state continues to apply. Arguments like
    "oh, this is an entity just like that one" alone will not be sufficient
    to settle the question whether the newly proposed entity is to be
    encoded. Justification needs to be based on external, not internal evidence.


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