Re: What's the BMP being saved for?

From: Marion Gunn (
Date: Fri Mar 19 2004 - 10:13:09 EST

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    Ar 15:33 +0000 2004/03/18, scríobh Arcane Jill:
    >This probably is going to sound like a really dumb question, but ... Is
    >the BMP being saved for something?
    >Arcane Jill

    There are never any dumb questions, Jill, only dumb answers.

    BMP is part of 10646-speak, and probably part of pre-Unicode terminology.

    To summarize (telescoping time) so as to get this msg off before returning
    to paid work.:-)

    The decision to create the BMP dates back to a time when certain software
    suppliers were complaining that anthing approaching a full implementation
    of ISO 10646 (later transmuted, so to speak, into Unicode) would be too big
    for them to handle, and too costly.

    Small local groups, such as ours, were then working rapidly and painlessly
    mostly on national and international character sets on far smaller scales.

    I recall chairing some discussion at a CEN workshop, possibly in Slovenia,
    in re something related, at the height of the debate. In any case, by that
    time, CEN had already emerged as a big player in this work (I think Unicode
    had yet to make much of a mark, but I don't mind if someone corrects me
    about that, if wrong, because it really doesn't matter now, in the least).

    Anyway, it was agreed to divide ISO 10646 into sections, such as BMP (Basic
    Multilingual Plane) and the MES (Minimum European Subset), and my own
    company, among others, was very pleased to be hired by CEN to do the
    necessary (a truly exciting and rewarding period, when we actually got
    _paid_, generously, if belatedly, for such Standards work!)

    Is the BMP a reality, actually referenced in software, or scheduled to be
    so referenced in future? I doubt it, although I think that would be a very
    good thing (just as I believe the 8859 series and the like more practially
    useful, even today, as clean-cutting tools, than the full complement of
    10646, which remains a rather blunt instrument which creates obstacles in
    unflagged text).

    Justification for saving the BMP for the purposes originally intended is
    probably something the Unicode Consortium would be happy to clarify for

    Perhaps that has already been done in some of today's e-mails, which are
    too numerous for me to read right now, under pressure of urgent work. (I do
    promise to try to read them all.) If you want more info on the purpose and
    genesis of the BMP, I suggest that you ask NSAI to let you study the
    archives of NSAI/AGITS/WG6 (later transmuted into NSAI/ICTSCC/SC4), or thou
    send a simple query directly to CEN (on whose live agenda such matters
    remain, I believe).

    Hope this helps,

    Would someone just hit reply to this msg, to time our comms here? There
    seems to be a long timelag between sending and delivery of Unicode list
    msgs, sometimes.

    Marion Gunn * EGTeo (Estab.1991)
    27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn, Baile an
    Bhóthair, Co. Átha Cliath, Éire.
    * * *

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