Re: Naming of functional ASCII characters in Unicode

From: Bernd Warken (
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 15:44:05 EDT

On Mon, Jun 05, 2000 at 09:20:20PM -0800, Doug Ewell wrote:
> I am curious about what "copyleft" means in the context of a document,
> such as your posting about Unicode character names. Does it mean that
> I am free to read and re-distribute your posting, and further that I am
> free to *modify* and re-distribute it as I choose, so long as the
> intended recipients in turn have the same freedom? Please help me
> understand this, as I am unfamiliar with the application of copyleft to
> documents.
I means that it may be distributed under the terms of the GNU Free
Documentation License (FDL), see for
details. It guards the author without impeding development.
FDL is the analogue of the GPL for documents.
However, to use the full juristical power of the FDL, a leading standard
paragraph should be added. I omitted this because the subject was not
important enough.

To answer the many replies to may mail I sy the following points.

1) I accept that the Unicode names are fixed and that some shrewed names
hurt the Unicode developers as well. You should tell this fact
somewhere within the standard to avoid further bug-reports. Standards
are a nuisance, but they are needed as long as nothing better is

2) Point 1) makes the discussions a talk about the empty set, i.e. hot
air for the literates among the mailing list.

3) I learned computers on punch-cards and later on huge, loud teletypers
with a typing speed of 1 character per second and a thrilling ring after
each line-feed. Believe me there was programming time for all and
database access for privileged people - but absof*ckinglutely _no_
text processing.

The first type-setting system was roff on CTSS, later runoff, today
groff. This was and is a programming language - having the single and
double quote characters as functional syntax characters. For their
printable representations there are special escape sequences.

Text processing is for softy macs, the tough guys'n'gals program their
letters using unreadable, ominous roff macros ;-)

Bernd Warken <>

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