Re: On the possibility of encoding a portable interpretable object code into Unicode

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed Mar 25 2009 - 07:53:18 CST

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    James Kass <thunder dash bird at earthlink dot net> wrote:

    > Some of us have recently had our collective noses rubbed
    > in the notion that propriety of use has little to do with
    > text character standardization nowadays.

    James brings up a good point. The rules we grew up with are not the
    same today. We've seen that the old distinction against "characters vs.
    glyphs" and the restrictions against encoding "idiosyncratic... [or]
    novel characters... [or] logos or graphics" no longer apply, or may be
    exempted from by labeling the proposed entities "compatibility
    characters." Even corporate logos can now be encoded if they are named
    "compatibility symbol," and if a dashed box with numbers is used as the
    reference glyph. No proof of attested usage is required, only potential

    So the door is indeed wide open, and if William's object code tokens are
    indeed inappropriate for Unicode, it is not for the traditional reasons.

    I'd suggest, then, that if William wants these to be considered for
    encoding, it might be helpful to actually build a virtual machine that
    interprets them and works correctly, and see if it can be embedded in,
    or made widely available as an add-on to, a popular product such as
    Adobe Reader, Firefox, or Google Chrome. (It might help if this
    mechanism is seen as strategically important to an organization
    represented on the UTC.) Demonstrate that the mechanism works, and
    ideally that it will not lead to a rash of viruses and spyware and
    browser takeovers. Establish popular usage in the PUA so that the
    "interoperability" and "existing implementations" arguments are
    compelling, and then write your proposal for Unicode.

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

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