Re: Failure on Japanese dolls emoji

From: Asmus Freytag (t) <>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 09:19:33 -0800
On 3/4/2016 8:51 AM, Doug Ewell wrote:
Pierpaolo Bernardi wrote:

And the NamesList.txt of Unicode Character Database gives the
description: Japanese Hinamatsuri or girls' doll festival. Aren't
they the authorities to let the emoji look like hina-matsuri?
OK. Then you are right in your complaint!
FWIW, I agree that annotations in NamesList.txt are a better
justification for prescribing the glyph design of a Unicode character,
even an emoji, than tribal knowledge about the history or origin of the

Hmm, I had thought the vast majority of characters in Unicode have shapes (or ranges of shapes) that are defined simply by shared experience of the respective user community - with the exemplar in the code charts serving merely as a sort of "reminder". That seems true for most letters.

We don't usually take notice of that, because the implementers either already share the expectations of the user community or are able to find out what they are. And there's settled typographical convention. In this case, we have something that's relatively new territory and we see some implementers not matching the expectations of the user community and being faced with bug reports.

I agree that nameslist annotations can be useful to nail down the intended identity of the character being encoded, and that can help fix the expected range of shapes. But ultimately, if the users don't agree that a particular character code can have a 'generic' identity, but strongly expect to see a 'specific' identity then implementers will eventually follow. Unicode, being normally descriptive, rather than prescriptive, will generally stay out of their way (and if a generic identity should be needed for some other purpose it may get encoded separately).

At least that's how I always thought this worked. (Leaving aside for now the small set of symbols encoded for their precise shape).

Received on Fri Mar 04 2016 - 11:20:28 CST

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