Re: On the possibility of encoding some localizable sentences in plane 7 (from Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode)

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2011 - 03:38:37 CST

  • Next message: Frédéric Grosshans: "Rejected decimal separator (former Re: On the possibility of encoding some localizable sentences in plane 7)"

    On 1/28/2011 11:56 PM, William_J_G Overington wrote:
    > On Friday 28 January 2011, Asmus Freytag<> wrote:
    >> On 1/28/2011 7:06 AM, William_J_G Overington wrote:
    >>> It could be a great project for the Unicode community with input from many people in order to produce a magnificent system that could be of great use.
    >> Well, from reading the replies, I get a sense that the Unicode community is saying "no, thank you.!" to this generous offer of doing additional work. Everybody has said it a bit differently, but it comes down to the same thing in the end.
    > The use of "Everybody" is far too sweeping. The use of the phrase "Most people who have posted on this topic" would, in my opinion, be fairer.
    How about "Overwhelmingly, the answers have been..."

    >> I think this is not least because the community is already working on magnificent system of its own that not only *could* be of great use, but already *is* of great use, and which takes dedicated effort to maintain and nurture. In case there's any doubt, I am referring of course to the core Unicode standard of encoding *characters* and not *sentences* and all its many ancillary specifications for which there are large, established user communities already.
    > Yes, Unicode is of great use. Yet the fact that it is of great use as it stands is not a reason for not extending it with new encodings.

    Interesting logical connection. I didn't make.

    Most people that are active in the Unicode community are busy
    maintaining or implementing Unicode as defined or to extending it within
    its long-standing mandate (see below). Very busy, and very motivated
    they are, because that mandate defines something that is demonstrably of
    actual *great use*.
    >> In other words, the time to come here with great proposals is when you have demonstrated not merely its potential, but actual utility, and when you have found a community willing to embrace and support it.
    > Well, there was no harm in trying to see whether the Unicode community was willing to become interested.

    I think you've done that. If you've got people who contacted you offline
    to work with you further. that's obviously great. But it's time to
    conclude this topic on this list for the time being.

    Actually, there is a degree of "harm" in long, drawn-out off-topic
    discussions on this list. This particular discussion is one that should
    end about now, I'd say.

    > The idea is after all an idea that would extend the encoding of Unicode and could be of benefit to people. The emoji were encoded so why not some localizable sentences. The emoji are only a small selection of all of the pictograms that could exist and could be encoded: the localizable sentences would be only a small selection of all of the sentences that could exist.

    Why emoji, why not the ideographs? Aren't they a better precedent? They
    are commonly supposed to each stand for whole words, or concepts. From
    there, to sentences it's just a hop and a skip.

    Or so it would seem.

    Actually, neither of them are precedents. And here is why:

    Unicode is about encoding the *elements* of written communications, not
    their composition. That's its mandate. And once something can be encoded
    as a sequence of elements, Unicode firmly prohibits the encoding of any
    equivalent composite.

    The localizability aspect won't help your argument here, because Unicode
    has rejected earlier, and much more modest proposals for localizable
    numeric punctuation, the *Decimal Separator* which would have been
    equivalent to Period of Comma depending on locale. Unicode's mandate
    therefore explicitly excludes localizable content.

    > The Unicode Technical Committee makes decisions about encoding and it is for the Unicode Technical Committee to decide whether to hold a Public Review on the matter. I am aware that a Public Review is not something for which someone can apply, it is a facility available to the Unicode Technical Committee if they wish to use it to help them in their considerations.

    Assuming you had made a proposal that by some stretch of the argument
    could be considered to fall within a possible extension of the mandate
    for Unicode (this one, as I demonstrated, cannot). So, assuming this,

    Even in that case the burden is definitely on you to do the necessary
    legwork, build the community, state the case, etc, before coming to the
    committee and suggesting it do the work for you. At this stage of any
    proposal, even raising the possibility of a review is just out of turn.

    Finally, when friendly and well-meaning people on their list donate a
    slice of their valuable time and considerable technical expertise to
    give you feedback on the problems inherent in your current approach,
    then it behooves you to take that advice seriously. That means going
    back to the drawing board and reconsidering your approach instead of
    simply continuing this discussion with recycled arguments.

    Some of the advice, incidentally, in case you missed it, was quite
    unequivocal that independent of all the other issues, your chosen level
    of technology is inappropriate: this is not something that is best
    handled on the plain text level, or should even be considered for a
    plaintext implementation. If anything, it requires a higher level
    protocol, which means that Unicode, and this list, are not the proper
    places to address to move this forward.



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jan 29 2011 - 03:42:13 CST