Date: Tue Feb 16 2010 - 19:40:44 CST
From: Hans Aberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Tue Feb 16 2010 - 14:23:40 CST
> On 16 Feb 2010, at 15:54, Doug Ewell wrote:
>> Fair enough. Do you feel there is an analogy between the math
>> compatibility alphabets and the proposed new Tifinagh letters?
> I just noted that characters have been added on the principle on
> planned future common use.
> As for the experimental characters, my guess you might do the same if
> they get some such status. It's a bit hen and egg problem: you don't
> add them because nobody uses them, and they are not used because they
> are not added.
It would be a chicken and egg problem if computer representation were the only
ubiquitous means of representing text. Fortunately, there is this thing called
handwriting, and even though it's old-fashioned, you don't need to take up room
in the Unicode Standard to incorporate a new character. The PUA is for the
quite understandable desire to use the new character(s) on computers right now:
you standardize in the PUA until you can demonstrate usage in the wild, then
you do a simple one-to-one mapping to the eventual official Unicode allocation.
This gives you two, very easy means of generating the proper documentation for
a UTC proposal: 1) people find the proposed characters useful and use it in
their handwritten correspondence 2) people find the proposed characters useful
and use them from the PUA. Each demonstrates usage and the necessity of
My suggestion is to find yourself some good PUA codepoints (suggestion: E650-
E67F) after checking with the Conscript Unicode Registry (the only fairly well
supported Private Use registry I know of), and staying out of the first 256
code points to avoid conflicting with the most common location of REALLY
private use characters. Get a font to support this PUA assignment, and see if
anyone actually uses it. Also, get scholars, students, and others with interest
to use them in private correspondence, and use the handwritten letters as
documentation. Write it up as a scholarly proposal for the larger community,
and again, see if anyone uses it. It may be the most logical script extension
ever conceived, but if it is not used, it has no place in Unicode.
This also enables you to see what use others will put the concept. You may be
suprised at what happens when others get ahold of this, it may blow your
encoding model out the window, in which case, Unicode assignment was not only
premature, but was subverted by actual usage. This is why proposals require
documentation, and why some proposals need to demonstrate that the encoding
model actually represents the text properly.
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