Re: ISO 10646, Unicode & The FAQ

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Thu Nov 21 2002 - 21:31:25 EST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: ISO 10646, Unicode & The FAQ (Bengali Khanda Ta)"

    Earlier today Andy White asked:

    > Is the Unicode FAQ officially part of the Unicode standard?

    Since nobody else has picked this up, I'll venture an answer. The answer
    is "no". The FAQ pages are not part of the standard.

    > If not why not?

    The FAQ pages are interpretations of the standard about questions that are
    asked time and again by the public. But like almost everything else about
    Unicode, the bulk of the FAQ pages are written and maintained by various
    volunteers. If every question that came up for a potential FAQ entry had to
    be answered by debate and action of the UTC, then there would be no FAQ
    and the Unicode web pages would be pretty bare and slim.

    The UTC debates the decisions that lead to the standard itself; and even
    so, most of the text of the standard is produced and reviewed by a
    subcommittee that meets frequently to edit the standard and the technical
    reports. UTC simply does not have the time to monitor or produce FAQ pages
    in addition to the decisions and text of the standard, the technical
    reports, and so forth.

    The FAQ pages attempt to be correct, and when they are not, we entertain
    discussion that hopefully leads to correct answers.

    In a specific case, Andy asked about Khanda Ta, and pointed to a WG2
    resolution that contradicts the Unicode FAQ on the same topic. I looked up
    a paper listing an action item as follows, taken from document which are the
    action items from meeting #40 of WG2; the decision was from meeting #39 in
    October 2000:

        Resolution M39.11 (Request from Bangladesh): In response to the
        request from Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution in
        document N2261 for adding KHANDATA character to 10646, WG2 instructs
        its convener to communicate to the BSTI: a. that the requested
        character can be encoded in 10646 using the following combining
        sequence: Bengali TA (U+09A4 ) + Bengali Virama (U+09CD) + ZWNJ
        (U+200C) + Following Character(s), to be able to separate the
        KHANDATA from forming a conjunct with the Following Character(s).
        Therefore, their proposal is not accepted. b. our understanding
        that BDS 1520: 2000 completely replaces the BDS 1520: 1997.

    That does indeed give a different answer than the Unicode FAQ.

    I wonder if anyone else knows whether the text of 10646 contains any
    mention of Khanda Ta, and if so, what it says.


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