Re: Three modest proposals

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Apr 05 2011 - 03:40:32 CDT

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

    On 5 Apr 2011, at 02:08, Mark Davis ☕ wrote:

    >>> 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.

    I see the irony was lost on you. The point was, Mark, that it's pernicious to attack "certain ISO NBs" as though they had no right to have their own opinions and interests in terms of character encoding.

    Many years ago relations between Unicode and "certain ISO NBs" were not so good. Then they got a lot better. Now they have been getting a lot worse again. I don't think that's a good situation. Yet you don't seem to mind about maligning "certain ISO NBs" for not having the same view that "Unicode members" had about the encoding of playing card characters. It's no wonder that you get push-back.

    >> 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.

    That's probably true for most things that get added to the UCS. What's your point? That "certain ISO NBs" should not have the same rights as "Unicode members"?

    > Some people have difficulty understanding

    This is rude, Mark. Some people don't share YOUR views about character encoding. That does not mean that they are not intelligent people of good will and it does not mean that they have cognitive impairments.

    > 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.

    Except that it often has, in the past, and that in reality how something gets into the UCS is a different thing from what happend when they are there. Many, many character encoding proposals over the past 15 years have been exercises in filling gaps in the standard. Many characters have been added that were not and never will be "in widespread use".

    Compatibility with something from the past may be how something gets encoded. But once it is encoded, it is in the present. New users find characters, and use them. But sometimes the characters belong to sets, and sometimes the sets are incomplete. So new characters are added to complete the sets. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's good for the UCS.

    >> 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 completeness.

    The notion of completeness of sets is not "absurd", Mark.

    Try to relax and enjoy character encoding for a while. Smile and laugh. Human beings have created all sorts of marvellous things, and lots of them have been encoded. Hey! We've encoded the LITTER DUDE (on the basis of its being in widespread use) and a PILE OF POO (on the basis of its being in Japanese phones). You gotta laugh. Go on. This doesn't have to be all adversarial, you know.

    But the more you want to roll your eyes about how benighted "some ISO NBs" are, the less chance you're going to have for friendly cooperation as opposed to sparring cooperation.

    >> 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?

    The playing card suits (French, German, English traditions) were unified when the Playing Card characters were added to the UCS. They were unified on historic grounds: staves/wands and clubs are in fact historically the same entities.

    >> > • 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.

    "Regular" cards (whether European or North American) *are* historically identical with "esoteric" cards. We unified them on this basis. For my part I think the unification is satisfactory enough (and you know how I am about over-unification). However, if you think that this unification was an over-unification, then perhaps we could work together to disunify them.

    Michael Everson *

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