Re: Regional Indicator Symbols

From: Doug Ewell <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 07:32:57 -0600

Philippe Verdy wrote:

>> Read . This mechanism
>> is part of Unicode, and adding another one such as Philippe's to
>> accomplish basically the same thing would be a form of duplicate
>> encoding.
> First I have NEVER advocated using flags for identifying languages.
> This is a common practie but something I strongly disapprove.

I don't think I said you advocated that. I had two points: (1) using
flags for languages is bad; (2) Philippe suggests a mechanism for
representing flags when Unicode already has one. I apologize if it was
hard to tell which point was which.

> Next This is not "duplicate encoding". Given that there's no such
> first encoding of national flags as characters.

But that's the primary use case for Regional Indicator Symbols.

> Yes this may mean that some people will try to use those flags as
> language indicators. But this will remain wrong. My intent is just to
> allow encoding flags for what they are : flags. Nothing else, not even
> with their intended territory coverage (even if we can admit their
> semantics according to ISO 3166 territorial coverages).

OK, so you're saying that a rendering engine could display Regional
Indicator Symbols as something other than flags, whereas your mechanism
would be explicitly for flags only?

> MY initent is JUST to solve both the political and legal/copyright
> issues, but as well offer a clear path for interoperability at the
> plain text level, without requiring embeddded images (not stable is
> using URLs, legally restricted in terms of copright and political
> issues.

We know that. The assumption is that users need, or want, to display
national flags in plain text. I'm not seeing how your approach solves
this problem in a way that the Regional Indicator Symbols don't, if you
are willing to limit the scope to national flags and not subnational,
organizational, sports, etc. as you imply below.

> Also I certainly don't want to let the UTC introduce directly flags
> for any specific regions. This would be another nightmare (just like
> the current "ideographic" nightmare that was adopted early, just
> because emergency needs, but without any research and development made
> to help close this issue for the long term)
> And if you want my opinion about the alternate proposal for "regional
> indocators" I don't support them for exactly the same reason as
> language indicators: their application scope also in an undetermined
> and arbitrary length of texts.. Flags are definitely not duplicates of
> regional indicators, their scope is limited to the occurence of the
> flag itself, wihout any consequence on how to interpret the rest of
> the text. My proposal is just "symbols", not "indicators" that I
> strongly do not approve.

Regional Indicator Symbols have nothing to do with how to interpret the
rest of the test. You're thinking of language tags.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell  
Received on Mon Jun 04 2012 - 08:34:17 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2012 - 08:34:18 CDT