Re: Facepalm gesture/emoticon proposal

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Thu Mar 03 2011 - 15:58:51 CST

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "RE: Facepalm gesture/emoticon proposal"

    On 3/3/2011 1:12 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
    > Asmus Freytag<asmusf at ix dot netcom dot com> wrote:
    >>> If an argument can be brought forward that facepalm somehow completes
    >>> a set, albeit unintentional, of universal gestures already in
    >>> Unicode, I believe that it should be considered in earnest.
    >> And that points the problem with attempts such as Doug's to come to a
    >> definite conclusion by a discussion on this list in a way that
    >> seemingly pre-empt the activity of the coding committees.
    > I think that's an exaggeration of what I was trying to do.

    I really dislike when it appears that instead of laying out what I
    called the "process, precedents, policies and criteria," the
    contributors on this list instead engage in a sport of "handicapping" a
    potential proposal. I didn't mean to single you out, other than that I
    thought yours to be the most recent example.

    OK, I admit, I've done it myself - and would to it again, in cases like

    Hexadecimal Digits
    Localisable Phrases
    Pixel instructions

    Common to these proposals is that they are not plain characters, but
    rather have elements of control or layout function and that they are not
    (arguably) about representing a *symbol* used in writing *text* (to
    paraphrase Ken's excellent recent contribution). In these cases, and
    similar examples, it's much harder to conceive of a way that they could
    be made to fit the scope of Unicode, and I've not been hesitant to
    express that view. :)

    > I've
    > certainly said in the past of other suggestions that they would "never"
    > be accepted, but I'm gradually learning that nothing is completely off
    > the table.

    "Never" is something one should "never" use in predictions. :)

    The precise boundary of the scope of Unicode has legitimately been
    re-adjusted and tweaked over time to match real-world situations, and
    that means that absolute predictions are not possible - and that's why I
    find any handicapping attempt so unhelpful.

    Especially for characters that fall into a gray-zone of acceptability,
    it's up to the character encoding committees to follow the process and
    render a decision on which shade of gray...and only when all the data is
    put before the committee is a full evaluation possible.

    This does not mean "anything goes" in the way that phrase is commonly
    understood - that would be a fallacy. I think Ken's message covers that,
    and he expressed this so well, that I don't want to repeat it here less

    >> And I think it is crucial that we make sure they retain their ability
    >> to judge each proposal on its merits, and to allow them to come to
    >> conclusions that reflect the particular case. The number of actual
    >> proposals submitted that are entire frivolous is rather small, so
    >> there's no urgent need to do anything about the process.
    > I don't think I suggested changing the process.
    Somebody else did.
    > lohmatii's original
    > question to the public list was whether it was "possible" that his
    > suggested symbols would be encoded. Since the public list has no
    > standing in the decision to encode or not, perhaps the stock answer to
    > all such questions should be, "I don't know; write up a proposal and
    > find out."
    >> (The number of "random ideas" brandished about on this list is rather
    >> higher - should we shut down the list?)
    > Sarcasm, I hope?

    About 6 words of it. :)


    (and I don't have the power to shut down lists, just in case anyone got

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