Re: Three modest proposals

From: Mark Davis ☕ (
Date: Mon Apr 04 2011 - 20:08:36 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Three modest proposals"

    On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 02:05, Michael Everson <> wrote:

    > On 4 Apr 2011, at 02:44, Mark Davis ☕ wrote:
    > > This was much better as an April Fool's prank.
    > I knew you'd think so.
    > > There was a good reason for a couple of cards (jokers): compatibility
    > with widespread usage in existing standards (the Japanese emoji).
    > Actually, no. There was only one Joker card proposed for Japanese
    > telephony.
    > > It should have gone no further.
    > Wrong.
    > > It was bad enough to for certain ISO NBs to push in the superfluous 52
    > cards (
    > [Unicode members didn't want them].
    > Fortunately, the Unicode Consortium does not own the Universal Character
    > Set, and so "certain ISO NBs" are able to continue to encode characters even
    > though some large companies don't think they can make money off of them.
    > [ISO National Bodies recognize that the UCS is not just about commercial
    > interchange.

    That is a strawman. The Unicode consortium has consistently supported
    minority scripts all over the world, including those with no commercial
    value. And the reason for encoding emoji is fundamentally an issue of
    satisfying user requirements.

    > Germany and Ireland argued that there were already other game symbols
    > encoded and that . On 2004-05-18
    > I proposed a number of
    > domino characters, playing cards, and pieces for draughts/checkers. Later,
    > on 2006-09-27 a subset of
    > the domino set, the draughtsmen, and the mahjong tiles were encoded.

    > (I still do not understand why the UTC originally opposed encoding the full
    > set of dominos to the eighteens, but only up to the sixes.)
    > When Japanese emoji presented its Joker, the playing cards were proposed
    > again for addition of a complete set. Even if the Unicode member companies
    > did not want them, the ISO National Bodies did. And in fact, two columns
    > were left in the playing cards block for the addition of the Major Arcana
    > after further study. That study has been completed.

    More precisely, some NBs supported them and most didn't care.

    Some people have difficulty understanding the need to encode characters for
    compatibility, handling issues that are in widespread current use. And the
    fact that just because a symbol is encoded for compatibility -- *meaning
    that there was no necessity to encode it except for compatibility* --
    doesn't set any precedent. Just because we have some triangles doesn't mean
    that we have to encode every possible triangle of every different
    orientation, shape, and hatching, simply for some absurd notion of

    > > But then that mistake is taken now as a precedent to add tarot cards.
    > What is next?
    > > •
    > This is a misunderstanding in your part.
    > Jass Schellen = Diamonds = Tarot Coins
    > Jass Rosen/Herz = Hearts = Tarot Cups
    > Jass Schilten/Laub = Spades = Tarot Swords
    > Jass Eichel(n) = Clubs = Tarot Wands/Staves

    It is not a misunderstanding. Unlike probably many people on this list, I've
    played at least a bit of Jass. And I really doubt that all of those who play
    would recognize the correspondence between all the cards. But even so, do
    people really want to "type" a Eichel Banner into a document, send it to
    someone else, having *no* guarantee -- actually a very low probability --
    that it would be seen on the other side as anything but a 10 of clubs?

    > King = Tarot King, Queen = Tarot Queen, Knight = Tarot Knight, Jack = Tarot
    > Page
    > > • Localized versions of cards on
    > > • All the locale digits?
    > > • All the different languages' abbreviations for A, K, Q,
    > J?
    > No, these would be font-specific glyph variants. That's already the case,
    > since the Queen of Spades is (quite properly) unified with the Queen of
    > Swords.

    And that makes the whole notion of using characters pointless. For someone
    to have any assurance that what they send is what the recipient sees, s/he
    would need to send an image instead. Unifying Tarot cards with regular
    playing cards only makes sense if people know the correspondences, which
    they typically don't. Would the average person seeing know what the corresponding
    regular card would be.


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