Re: Overloading Unicode

From: William_J_G Overington (
Date: Sat Jun 05 2010 - 08:38:03 CDT

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    On Friday 4 June 2010, Doug Ewell <> wrote:
    > William Overington wrote:
    > > [I]f the idea of the portable interpretable object code gathers support, then maybe the defined scope of the standards will become extended.
    Well, yes.
    Later in the same post Doug wrote.
    > The common thread is for some folks to regard the Unicode Standard as a vehicle for advancing their own personal agenda -- promoting script reform, extending the understood meaning of "plain text," or changing the way people count.
    Well, what you quoted earlier in that post did not say to extend the understood meaning of "plain text", it said that maybe the defined scope of the standards will become extended. Also, the use of the word "understood" is of interest here. The stated rules are what is important, not "understood" situations: "understood" can lead to unfair discrimination and restriction of progress.
    I have tried to produce a proposal to submit to the Unicode Technical Committee and have, in accordance with the official advice of the Unicode Consortium on the following web page, started a thread about the proposal in the Unicode mail list.

    Experience has shown that it is often helpful to discuss preliminary proposals before submitting a detailed proposal. One open forum for such discussion is the Unicode mail list. (See Public Email Distribution Lists for subscription instructions.) Sponsors are urged to send a message of inquiry or a preliminary proposal there before formal submission. Many problems and questions can be dealt with there, minimizing the severity of later revisions.
    end quote
    There have been some replies.
    What is the meaning of the phrase "personal agenda"? Is it some sort of "not representing an organization" discrimination? I have my research project that I am trying to pursue.
    Later Doug wrote the following, in the same post.
    > The Unicode Standard is a character encoding standard.  This covers a lot more than simply "what character gets mapped to what integer," but it does *not* cover social activism, and it does *not* cover blazing trails for the future.  That should probably be an FAQ too.

    Well, what is and is not blazing a trail is somewhat subjective.
    Encoding the emoji is, in my opinion, trail blazing as it opens up support for new ideas of communication.
    I feel that it is important to note that standards committees are allowed as an exception to the general prohibition of competing companies getting together to decide how products should be designed. That exception is so that consumers and end users get the best possible results for interoperability, it is not there for progress to be held back.
    I feel that the encoding of a portable interpretable object code into Unicode could be an infrastructural step forward towards great possibilities for the future.
    William Overington
    5 June 2010

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