RE: 1 in 1000

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Apr 24 2000 - 15:31:12 EDT

Gregg responded:

> > From: Elliotte Rusty Harold []
> > Probably less than one person in a thousand today speaks a
> > language that
> > cannot be reasonably represented in Unicode.
> Define "reasonably".
> Howsabout: "100% of the people in the world whose native language is not
> modeled by Unicode cannot use computers in their native language; 100% of
> those whose language is badly modeled by Unicode cannot fully exploit the
> power of computers (since the proliferation of "Unicode-enabled" software
> will only partially benefit them); 100% of those literary cultures whose
> medium is badly modeled by Unicode will come under intense economic pressure
> to think about their languages in terms of Unicode's model (i.e. to become
> semi-literate in their native languages)."

I think this is heading offtrack. (And is also inflammatory.)

The Unicode Standard does not even attempt to "model languages". It
continues the long character encoding tradition of encoding characters
for scripts, and attempts to extend that project universally to cover
scripts which had not previously been encoded. Yes that has a bearing
on how written languages are (and will be) represented on computers
in the future. But it seems to me that your implied beef is with how
well implementations of particular scripts reflect cultural preferences
and practices, rather than with the encoding of characters per se.


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