Re: Courtyard Codes and the Private Use Area

From: Philipp Reichmuth (
Date: Sat May 25 2002 - 11:54:47 EDT

WO> The ZERO WIDTH LIGATOR has, in my opinion, considerable merit.
WO> However, it is a matter upon which the Unicode Technical Committee
WO> has ruled

Oh, since you are defining PUA entities you can use it in your file
formats nevertheless.

WO> There is, in my opinion, far too much emphasis on making systems
WO> either character based or markup as two distinct, rigidly
WO> separated, categories.

Actually, this is not taking place at all. These are just separate
levels, this is part of the definition of markup. On the contrary, I
consider it an excellent idea to define a basic level for the mere
units of semiotic content [i.e. characters] and keep it separated from
presentation or processing elements as far as possible.

WO> I am not restricting the use of the Private Use Area

Oh, but of course you are. Proposing a file format X with a given PUA
allocation does restrict the use of the PUA for end users, as far as I
understand. In formats for public text exchange, this is probably not
a good idea, since users may need to process text with their own PUA
encodings, such as non-Unicode scripts etc. that might collide with
your codes.

WO> I am not cluttering the Private Use Area. The Private Use Area is
WO> provided in order that it may be used. I am using the Private Use
WO> Area in accordance with the Unicode specification.

Yes, but your own PUA allocation becomes overly complicated, and the
number of codepoints used for fairly straightforward definitons is
probably larger than necessary, while still probably not being general
enough for real-world text presentation. These are just suggestions,
however, and future conversation on this matter should be taken off

WO> I feel that the existence of just the need to put those one or two
WO> words in italics should not then force the issue of not being able
WO> to use an essentially plain text format and instead having to go
WO> for a less universally portable proprietary format that is only
WO> accessible by people who are using one particular computer
WO> platform using expensive add on software from a commercial
WO> software company.

Instead, you suggest a proprietary format ".eut"/".uto" by William
Overington, the typographic features of which beyond mere plain text
are dependent on having reader software that understands Courtyard

WO> Publishing Courtyard Codes on the mailing list is not a waste of
WO> space.

Maybe the format in which they are published might be worth thinking
over. A 14.292 byte e-mail that consists largely of a list of somewhat
similar character codes could probably be presented in a somewhat more
compact, reader-friendly manner. I further suggest that future similar
specifications should rather be published on a web site somewhere and
an URL be given in the e-mail, because probably more people would read
the e-mail to the end :-)


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