Re: Suggestion for new dingbats/symbols

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2013 02:43:10 +0200

So the Noun Project on Wikimedia is a good thing, as it is already a
collaborative area for researches, discussions, and for collecting source
references for various existing standards more or less known to the world.

Given these efforts (even if by themselves they are not creating a new
standard), this will help feeding the UTC with interesting data for
comparing these sources and measuring the usages, in a more open way than
what TC 145 offers for now (whose focus is too much technical and oriented
towards specific industries, rather than for general public, except in
specific countries for their local legislation).

We, the public, are often seein a proliferation of symbols that more or
less mean the same thing, except that they are made for specific standards
(look at all electronic or electric devices, lots of symbols, only few of
them are reognized or even applicable to the user where he is). In addition
these standards are also regularly changing and new logos are designed at
each step and the previois logo is abandonned (its initial meaning is no
longer legally applicable).

The UCS should only contain symbols that are reusable for the long term,
and which will be applicable to various publics independantly of where they
are. For this reason, the normative glyphs used by these standards (whose
usage is also highly restricted by laws) should not go to the UCS.

My opinion is that, in most cases, fonts can be created and their glyphs
embedded in documents, without requiring any specific encoding in the UCS
(these documents will need to have some "rich-text" capabilities to supply
these fonts and attach the PUA agreeement directly in that document; or
documents will supply a list of graphic objects ; for example, you don't
need any encoding for creating a PDF, or web page, or for designing the UI
of an application, and these graphics/icons have no real meaning out of the
context of their documents, often you can't create new random documents
containing them)

2013/5/31 Asmus Freytag (w) <>

> In terms of setting up a research project you are on your own. Unicode
> deals with issues only once they are clearly on the path for encoding as
> characters. That is usually the case when the items in question have seen
> traditional research (often academic) to a sufficient degree that they can
> be said to be "understood" or even "well understood".
> This is not the case here, and so what you would be engaging in is this
> kind of basic research that aims to understand the fundamental nature of
> the subject.
> If you like to carry this out as an open source project then you would
> have to source your own place to host it, with all the available technology
> that go along with this. I think it would be a fascinating project that
> should be of interest to its own community of enthusiasts and subject
> experts (probably turning quite a few of the former into the latter by the
> time it's done).
> Good luck.
> A./
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Neil Harris <>
> >Sent: May 31, 2013 1:23 PM
> >To: "Asmus Freytag (w)" <>
> >Cc: “unicode“ Discussion <>, "Dreiheller,Albrecht" <
> >Subject: Re: Suggestion for new dingbats/symbols
> >
> >On 31/05/13 20:37, Asmus Freytag (w) wrote:
> >> I think that research that does precisely this kind of task of
> correlating symbol repertoires against each other is extremely valuable in
> its own right.
> >>
> >> Additional research that documents the usage of these symbols -- in
> computing environments -- would also be useful.
> >>
> >> Reliable facts on users and the tasks in which they use particular
> symbols (represented in filed and data) would be a better basis to argue
> about possible encodings than just the existence of symbols or whether they
> are highly recognizable when seen on signage.
> >>
> >> Having said that, documenting the details of ongoing efforts at
> understanding symbols by posting each small finding on this list is
> probably inappropriate. That kind of effort belongs in a research project
> aimed at symbols.
> >>
> >> A./
> >>
> >
> >Thanks! I agree that a mailing list is a very poor venue for this -- I
> >just wanted to demonstrate that the repertoire of public information
> >symbols was quite coherent, and very amenable to unification, instead of
> >being a random grab-bag of pictograms with no defined boundaries -- and
> >then I got carried away.
> >
> >ISO has its TC 145 committee to talk about exactly this, and no doubt
> >they will have a lot of this sewn up already, but it's not really a
> >public forum, and their documents are not freely available.
> >
> >Is there an alternative forum that could be used to develop something in
> >a crowdsourced, collaborative way that could later be refined to
> >generate a more formal document such as a Unicode encoding proposal?
> >Something as simple as a wiki would work fine in the short term...
> >
> >Neil
> >
> >
> >
Received on Fri May 31 2013 - 19:48:48 CDT

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