Re: Obsolete characters

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Fri Jan 16 2009 - 11:32:08 CST

  • Next message: Mark Davis: "Re: Obsolete characters"


    On Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 09:00, Henrik Theiling <> wrote:

    > Hi!
    > Mark Davis writes:
    > > Good points. There are two purposes, really.
    > >
    > > 1. I have an UTC action to update UTR#39, which provides for sets of
    > > characters that people may want to exclude from identifiers. It has
    > an
    > > 'archaic' category, and I need to update the contents.
    > NOOOO! OMG, why exclude!? I'm a programmer, I am looking forward to
    > real Unicode support in programming languages and I don't want to be
    > constrained by a programming language wrt. which characters are legal
    > in identifiers!

    Identifiers don't just mean programmatic identifiers. If you look at UTR#36
    and UTR#39, you see that they are concerned with security. One of the issues
    is visual confusability. Knowing that characters are archaic allows you to
    flag an occurrence as something that you may want to alert users about,
    especially if the characters are visually confusable with others. I should
    not have used the term 'exclude'.

    > Scheme (R6RS) has a good definition of its Unicode morphology (well,
    > they could've excluded U+FFFD, maybe) -- nothing more (or less) is
    > needed!
    > In my opinion, the idea of archaic/obsolete characters is highly
    > counter-productive and irrelevant for Unicode. What possible purpose
    > would 'less relevant characters' serve other than diluting the very
    > principles of Unicode?

    First off, this is not intended as a standard Unicode property; it is simply
    some information that may be useful to some people in some contexts *about*
    Unicode characters. Secondly, there is no denying that some characters,
    languages, scripts *are* archaic -- otherwise I'd be composing this message
    in Anglo-Saxon. Not unless you want to be so PC as to deny reality.

    > Who are you to judge 'corner newspapers'? Are Skolt Sami newspapers
    > 'corner' because there are few people who speak that language?

    This may be a confusion about what I said. I'm guessing you are treating
    'corner' as in 'corner-case', meaning some obscure instance. I didn't mean

    What I meant was rather was a shorthand for what you would find on a corner
    news-stand: that is, magazines or newspapers that one would find in common
    circulation written in modern living languages (

    > **Henrik

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