Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode (from Re: square bullets added to unicode.)

From: Neil Harris (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2011 - 11:41:46 CST

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    On 27/01/11 14:44, Doug Ewell wrote:
    > William_J_G Overington<wjgo underscore 10009 at btinternet dot com>
    > wrote:
    >> Even if the door has been opened, I do not understand why the opening
    >> of the door for encoding anything graphic as characters would be
    >> considered to be wrong. There are many unused planes of character
    >> codepoints. I feel that it is better to use some of them if some
    >> people want to use them. Indeed I have various ideas for encoding
    >> things as characters that are not just graphic characters, such as my
    >> idea for encoding localizable sentences.
    > The UTC and WG2 do have a set of principles and policies for what sort
    > of things are appropriate to encode in a character encoding and what
    > sort of things are not. Regardless of whether any of those principles
    > were compromised by encoding the emoji, the door is NOT wide open for
    > adding all kinds of encodable "stuff" to Unicode.
    > The fact that there are 865,000 unassigned code points does NOT change
    > this. It would not matter if there were 865 million.
    > This needs to be an FAQ, if it is not already. I've seen several people
    > besides William express this view; William is merely one of the most
    > persistent.
    > --
    > Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA |
    > RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | ietf-languages @ is dot gd slash 2kf0s ­

    Yes, this definitely seems to be a FAQ.

    As far as I can see, the goal of many of these proposals seems to be to
    adapt Unicode to implement something on the lines of Leibniz'
    _characteristica universalis_,

    The core problem with these proposals seems to me not to be their
    radical nature as novel writing systems and/or constructed languages,
    but the pragmatic issue that their proponents believe they should be
    encoded without having first demonstrated widespread use because of
    their idealistic nature and -- to their proponents -- obvious inherent
    worth that justifies them being made an exception to the normal encoding

    I wonder if the best approach to take to this class of proposals would
    be to point their proponents in the direction of the Private Use Area,
    and documentation on how to make their own fonts in freely distributable
    formats, and then invite them to come back when they have a large
    community of real-world users using their new writing system to exchange
    plain-text messages for non-artificial purposes, at which point they
    could then apply to go through the normal process for encoding?

    -- Neil

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