Re: character names (questions)

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2000 - 14:59:09 EDT


I think the question was referring to a different problem, not the human language of the names. It was the distinction between "characters" and "code points". It is important for us to be clear about the difference, since they are definitely *not* one-to-one:
- one abstract character can be represented by two different codepoints,
- or by a sequence of codepoints;
- and one codepoint can represent multiple characters.

(see for more information).

So properly speaking, they should be "codepoint names", although loosely speaking we can refer to them as "character names".

The language

"Alain LaBonté " wrote:

> À 00:10 2000-04-06 -0800, Viranga Ratnaike a écrit:
> > (4) why are they called "character names" and not "code point
> > names"?
> [Alain] Because names are for humans, and names are related mainly to what
> one sees on paper.
> Btw there are normative character names in French too. Nothing precludes to
> name characters in any other lannguage as it has always be done in the past.
> The only language-independent way to refer to characters is not by using
> long character names, but rather by UCS ids (U+xxxx). It is more efficient,
> and machines do not need names that long to exchange information on
> characters. If it is rather for humans, then a good user interface needs
> present the info in the user's language. See also ISO/IEC 14755 (Input
> methods to enter UCS characters) for principles of user interface character
> name feedback.
> Alain LaBonté
> Québec
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