Re: tips on writing character proposal

From: Mark E. Shoulson <>
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2011 21:08:40 -0500

On 11/09/2011 03:58 PM, Larson, Timothy E. wrote:
> Hello!
> I'm new here, but have already read some of the online documentation for proposing new characters. I'm still a bit unsure how to go about it. Or even who can do it. Can individuals submit ideas, or do you need to be the representative of some agency or group? How much supporting background information is deemed sufficient? Where do I find details (more than just the pipeline table) of current pending proposals?

There are others here who will throw even more cold water on some of
these ideas, but I can suggest that you read for some ideas
about what is encodable and what isn't. You'll probably find plenty of
exceptions, but it's a start.

> Here are my ideas in very abbreviated form. If these are non-starters from the beginning, I'd as soon know it sooner rather than later.
> These first several self-descriptive shapes are simply things I've seen suggested and wished for online for some time.

These might well be non-starters. Think about the first question you'd
be asked: Why should these be encoded? Is there any reason we should be
considering these symbols "plain text" that need to be encoded as such?
Or is it just because they're common simple geometric symbols? While it
is true that a lot of simple geometric symbols have been encoded, it
generally has not been *because* they are simple geometric symbols, but
rather because they were encoded in some other standard once before, or
because they are used as plain text in some settings.
> The next several are a response to a perceived deficiency in standardization of religious symbols. I suggest starting these cultural symbols at 2BC0 to distinguish them from the generic/geometric symbols earlier in the block. Very brief description/background given.
> 2BC0 ICHTHYS ="Jesus fish", symbol used by ancient Christians for identification, denotes non-denominational and inter-denominational Christianity in modern times
> 2BC1 TRIQUETRA =three-lobed vesicae piscis, used in Christianity and ancient/modern paganism
> 2BC2 MENORAH =7-branched temple lamp, ancient symbol of Judaism
> 2BC3 HANUKIAH =9-branched Hanukkah lamp
Apply the same question. What makes these symbols plain text? To be
sure, there are other religious symbols in Unicode, particularly in the
MISCELLANEOUS SYMBOLS and DINGBATS blocks, but those are mainly there
because they were formerly encoded in, say, Zapf Dingbats, or are
commonly used as map symbols. (You might actually be able to find some
support for these, though, but don't ask me where.)

It's a very common mistake, in coming to Unicode, to think "Oh, it would
be *so great* if these things were encoded!" But Unicode isn't about
encoding what would be neat to encode. It's about encoding _text_,
(including things that have been encoded before).

Received on Wed Nov 09 2011 - 20:13:00 CST

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