Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 17:26:03 CST

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    On 1/10/2009 2:31 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
    > The strong feeling I am getting from this, from everyone in the
    > pro-emoji camp, uniformly, is that it makes no difference whatsoever
    > what kind of things are being interchanged publicly as plain text. If
    > they are being interchanged publicly as plain text, that is sufficient.
    > So we could see sounds, video clips, program instructions, data,
    > anything, and as long as they are being interchanged publicly as plain
    > text, there will be a strong motivation to encode them in the UCS, and
    > arguments against encoding them will be deemed inappropriate.
    We've been around this bend before. There's already a precedent (of
    sorts) for 'sound', with the BEL character, etc.

    The real answer to this is that the more a proposed entity deviates from
    the majority of characters, the stronger the justification would have to
    be. For compatibility characters, which such an entity would be encoded
    as, the justification depends on the level of usage, and the degree to
    which added interoperability benefits existing Unicode-based

    As has been repeated here, many times, the decision is a case-by-case
    decision. There are no firm demarcations or hard-and-fast rules.

    BEL would not have been coded by itself, had it not been intricately
    interwoven with the rest of the ASCII characters, into data streams that
    made sense to be able to map to Unicode wholesale. (And most
    implementations don't actually ring a bell, so that's fine too).

    Membership in a set can push something inside the line, that by itself
    would not be considered. Clearly, that's the case in the current
    situation as well.

    So it's pretty useless to speculate in advance for which strange
    outliers it might be possible to make a case somewhere in the future.
    But I suspect that the further out the outlier ends up, the stronger the
    justification will have to be, and the more compelling the benefits.

    Finally, I want to remind you again, that the decision tree for deciding
    to encode compatibility characters is different from the decision tree
    for ordinary characters. For the latter you start with "are they plain
    text". For the former you start with "are they interchanged". That makes
    all the difference in the world, and confusing these two cases, as
    several participants in this discussion continue to do isn't helping
    anyone. Let alone helping UTC come up with a solid decision.


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