Re: more flexible pipeline for new scripts and characters

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:25:33 -0800


in principle, the idea of a provisional status is a useful concept
whenever one wants to "publish" something based on potentially doubtful
or possibly incomplete information. And you are correct, that, in
principle, such an approach could be most useful whenever there's no
possibility of correcting some decision taking in standardization.

Unicode knows the concept of a provisional property, which works roughly
in the manner you suggested. However, for certain types of information
to be standardized, in particular the code allocation and character
names, it would be rather problematic to have extended provisional
status. The reason is that once something is exposed in an
implementation, it enables users to create documents. These documents
would all have to be "provisional", because they would become obsolete
once a final (corrected or improved) code allocation were made.

The whole reason that some aspects of character encoding are "write
once" (can never be changed) is to prevent such obsolete data in documents.

Therefore, the only practical way is that of having a bright line
between proposed allocations (that are not implemented and are under
discussion) and final, published allocations that anyone may use.
Instead of a provisional status, the answer would seem to lie in making
the details of proposed allocations more accessible for review during
the period where they are under consideration and balloting in the
standardization committee.

One possible way to do that would be to make repertoire additions
subject to the "Public Review" process.

Another would be for more interested people to become members and to
follow submissions as soon as they hit the Unicode document registry.

The former is much more labor-intensive and I suspect not something the
Consortium could easily manage with the existing funding and resources.
The latter would have the incidental benefit of adding to the funding
for the work of the Consortium by providing some additional funding via
from membership fees.

Received on Wed Nov 16 2011 - 08:29:37 CST

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