Re: Encoding Personal Use Ideographs (was Re: Level of Unicode support required for various languages)

Date: Wed Oct 31 2007 - 08:02:18 CST

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    Quoting Andrew West <>:

    > On 31/10/2007, <> wrote:
    >> > We do not, and hope never will, encode characters just because someone
    >> > says that they use it for writing their name. And even if someone can
    >> > prove that they do use a special (non-unifiable) character for writing
    >> > their name it should only be encoded if it is used in a wider context
    >> > than someone's personal correspondence, for example in a book or a
    >> > newspaper, or at the very least in a national ID system.
    >> Whilst we all know that unicode doesn't encode names, CJKV is an
    >> exception to this, or at least was in the past.
    > With CJKV accounting for more than 70% of Unicode, perhaps the rest of
    > Unicode is the exception ;-)
    >> About 10% of the 70
    >> 000 or so CJKV are personnel names where even the pronunciation is
    >> unsure ( in the past both Taiwan and Hong Kong operated a system
    >> wereby upon registaring names of new borns, immigrants etc, the name
    >> (character not pronunciation) was stored dgitally, any characters not
    >> in the system were simply added. In Taiwan by law such records must be
    >> maintain for nine generations. The names need to be exact, consder the
    >> headline "Murderer goes free because character printed wrong".
    > Indeed, there is a requirement at the national level to be able to
    > represent personal use ideographs for ID systems etc., which I
    > acknowledged in my message, but the request to encode <U+2FF5 U+9580
    > U+9F8D> did not come from a national body, and, critically, was not
    > accompanied by any supporting evidence that there is a need to encode
    > the character. I don't like cutesy made-up characters, but if there is
    > evidence that a character is used in the public domain (e.g. names of
    > race horses) then it may well be appropriate to encode it. It's all a
    > question of evidence, which in the case of Ben's character is entirely
    > absent.

    Understood, though if a racehorses name then I suppose a competing
    greyhound's name should also be suffcient evidence (why not go to the

    Though where to draw the line may be difficult in some cases. Would
    the births, deaths and marriages of a newspaper be suffcient? How
    about a credit-card or bank book?

    Newspapers and shop signs are often cited as possible forms of
    evidence, though in some parts of the world there are departments that
    make sure that all shop signs are in the official language [in more
    rural areas where no-one would notice shops tend not to have signs
    anyway], of course if one can be fined for a shop sign, there is no
    need even to ask if there are newspapers!

    Reagrds John

    > Andrew

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