Re: more dingbats in plain text

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 13:55:00 CDT

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    On 4/21/2009 6:29 AM, Johannes Bergerhausen wrote:
    > Only the true global symbols should go into an global standard.
    > Following this Bedingungen [=conditions, criteria], STOP would be in,
    > but SPEED LIMIT 30 would be out (because it is different in different
    > countries).
    I couldn't disagree more.

    Unicode does not represent the smallest common global denominator, but
    instead its scope is to be the universal standard character encoding.

    Criteria related to local usage rightfully have no place in making
    encoding decisions. There are many symbols now encoded which have local
    use only, or were encoded because of local use in a specific country or

    The proper questions to be asked are instead these:

    Is the symbol used as a character today or is it analogous to other
    symbols already used as characters to such a degree that it makes sense
    to encode it as a character?

    Is the use of the symbol (in/with text) common enough so that it makes
    sense to *standardize* it?

    And finally, let's not forget this one:

    Is there some aspect (appearance, or semantics) of the symbol that is
    well-defined enough to allow it to be captured in a character set?

    The answers to these questions don't depend on whether a symbol is used
    in only one large country (China) or 10 small ones. Instead, the goal is
    to encode enough characters, that, no matter where you live and what
    language you write in, your needs are equally well supported by Unicode.


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