From: Kenneth Whistler (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 02 2010 - 12:13:56 CST
Doug Ewell asked:
> > The Unicode Consortium is revising the Unicode Standard Annexes for
> > eventual release of Unicode 6.0. A standard part of our development
> > process is to open all of the annexes for public review.
> I'm curious what the benefit is of creating a new revision of *all*
> UAXs, including those which have not changed. I quickly scanned a
> sample of four of the documents under review, and three of them (24, 29,
> 34) have no change except for boilerplate and copyright date (sometimes
> rendered as "20010," BTW). I know integers are cheap, but is this just
> a matter of following protocol or is there another benefit?
The UTC decided some time ago that it was less confusing to
move forward the *entire* content of the Unicode Standard
whenever a new version was required, rather than to attempt
to specify a version as consisting of some hodge-podge of
updated pieces plus some unchanged pieces from prior versions.
This general policy applies both to the annexes (which are a
part of the complete text of the Unicode Standard) and to
the data files, which are also moved forward for each version
as a complete batch, even for data files which otherwise
have no individual required change for that version.
To see what the UTC is attempting to avoid, look at the
detailed definition of Version 3.0 of the Unicode Standard,
For Version 3.0 of the Unicode Standard, the annexes that
existed at the time and their individual versions were:
UAX #15, Version 18.0
UAX #14, Version 6.0
UAX #11, Version 5.0
UAX #13, Version 5.0
UAX #9, Version 6.0
The data files had equally disparate version numbering, since
at the time, they simply had their numbers bumped when they
were actually changed.
That situation proved confusing to people who were trying to
determine the exact contents of the standard at any given
verison level, despite the guidance given about the enumerated
versions on the Unicode website.
The current policy results in clearly labeled versions for
all of the data files and all of the annexes -- versions
which always match the version of the complete standard.
The downside, of course, is that in some instances, particularly
for the annexes, a new version may have no real content change.
But the Modification history for each annex provides the relevant
details that should help people determine when significant
changes have occurred in an annex.
Another thing you should know is that a number of the newly
posted proposed updates for the annexes have content changes
still planned for them. There are mandated fixes still in
the works for UAX #14 and UAX #38, for example, which simply
have not yet been integrated into the new proposed update
drafts. Those will be noted in both the Public Review Issue
items and in the Modification history of each document, as
the relevant author(s) and the editorial committee can get
them incorporated into the drafts. So not all of the drafts
which currently include only version-related boilerplate
updates will remain that way.
Just procedurally, however, it is easier for the editorial
committee to get the entire batch opened for public review
before every last piece of intended content change is
incorporated. And the UTC mandated that it happen that way.
Among other things, having all the annexes open for public
review for each version puts the general public on notice
that feedback and review of their existing content is
invited by the UTC, even in those cases where there is no
specific change that has yet been required by a UTC decision
for a particular document.
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