Re: Wanted: synonyms for Age

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sun Jul 26 2009 - 18:25:17 CDT

  • Next message: Jonathan Coxhead: "Re: Wanted: synonyms for Age"

    On 7/26/2009 2:03 PM, karl williamson wrote:
    > I'm trying to come up with an alias to propose to the UCT
    > for the misleadingly named Age property. People tend to think from
    > the name that Age=3.2 means that the code point dates to version 3.2,
    > when in fact it means it dates to at least 3.2.
    > There are a couple of things which make this hard.
    The first of them is that Unicode does not rename properties, once they
    have been published. (Names for properties newly introduced in a beta
    are fair game, but this one's been around).

    At best, Unicode could introduce *another* name (aka "alias") for the
    property. This is something that gets done sparingly, for obvious
    reasons, since it could lead to confusion. Usually, only a short and a
    long name are created for a new property.

    So, you'll need to demonstrate that the problem with this name is at
    least as bad, if not worse, for those of any other existing property,
    and second, the new alias will need to be a definite improvement.
    Finally, it should be related to the existing alias (which will
    _continue to exist_ after all), so that users will get the connection.
    > One is that the term "assigned" (and its antonym, "unassigned") has a
    > somewhat different meaning here than usual, which is that permanent
    > non-characters are considered assigned here, but not elsewhere. Thus,
    > Age=Unassigned includes a different set of code points than
    > General_Category=Unassigned, the difference being the non-characters.
    > I think there should be a different term for the Age version. I think
    > Age=None would be good.
    Now you are asking not only for a new alias for the property, but also
    for a new alias for one of the _values_ of that property. That's a
    separate proposal in an of itself. I think "Age=Unassigned" can mean "no
    age has been assigned", which fits nicely. By the way, there's never
    been a requirement to have the property values have unique names across
    different properties. Each property effectively creates its own
    namespace for the identifiers of property values. For example, all
    Boolean properties use the values Y and N, yet the ranges for which
    these apply are different.
    > The other problem is that, say, the alias "Assigned_In=4.0" could mean
    > either already there in 4.0, or 4.0 introduced it. A verb that is
    > more passive would be better.
    > I have some possibilities, but would like some more:
    > In=2.1 or In_Version=3.0
    > Known_To=5.1 or Known_In, Known_In_Version, Known_To_Version
    > I've looked at thesauruses, and there are words like allotted,
    > allocated, but again they're too active, and don't convey the
    > non-characters; the best I think so far is In_Version.
    The problem with "age" is that in real life it connotes an ever changing
    number counting the units of time since something came into being. As
    used for this property, it really means "birthdate" or "birth-version",
    i.e. the fixed point in time something was added to the standard.

    So, "Version_for_which_added" or "Earliest_Version" would have been
    better names for that property because they conform to the readers
    expectations by designating a point in time, or, if not actual time,
    then a place in a succession of versions.


    Now, there's a special situation with the "age" property, and that is
    that its short and long alias are identical (except for casing, which
    doesn't count). So, Age really doesn't have a long alias. That would
    allow for the possibility of creating a new long alias, for which "age"
    is an abbreviation. Something like

    "AssiGnedEarliest", hence A.G.E or age.



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