Re: Naming of functional ASCII characters in Unicode

From: Bernd Warken (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 16:31:53 EDT

On Tue, Jun 06, 2000 at 01:58:43PM -0800, wrote:
> The output, on the other hand, was text - mostly invoices and mostly
> numeric, but text nonetheless.
> Databases, of course, didn't arrive until hard disks: all of this other
> stuff was on tape, much of it being of the paper variety as opposed to the
> ultra-modern magnetic tapes.
> I'm curious - why did you program if there was no textual output?

My point is to clarify the difference between functional characters and
pretty-print characters.

In programming and old-style databases the used characters stand for
syntax and are not meant for giving a nice look when printed, while
type-setting has the intention to add aesthetical value to the information.

This leads to using different characters for a prime, a single quote, an
accent aigu, an apostrophe, an syntactical character in programming, etc.
 - altho a single character from the ASCII chart could do the trick for all
of these applications. Instead Unicode created different characters for
all of these meanings, but the syntactical task cannot be moved to some
other character code.

So the main task of the ASCII character is functional for programming
purposes, not for pretty-printing. So it's a pity the naming and the
glyph does not reflect this.

Bug-fixing is wanted in free software, but it is deprecated in dead
commercial standards. So where is the future to be found?

Dont't feel too ISO-late-d.

Bernd Warken <>

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