Re: Overloading Unicode

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Jun 05 2010 - 18:18:15 CDT

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    I 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.

    Replace "extending the understood meaning of 'plain text'" with
    "extending the scope of the Unicode Standard beyond 'plain text'." Or
    choose better wording.

    "William_J_G Overington" <wjgo underscore 10009 at btinternet dot com>

    > 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.

    It would be unfair discrimination if you submitted a proposal for
    something that was generally accepted to be in scope for the Standard,
    such as Proto-Cuneiform, and the proposal were rejected, not on its own
    merits or demerits, but because you had submitted it.

    It is not discrimination, fair or unfair, if you submit a proposal for
    something that is not generally accepted to be in scope for the
    Standard, and the proposal is rejected on those grounds.

    > 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.

    We have discussed the preliminary proposal on the Unicode mail list.
    The outcome of these discussions has been that most participants do not
    feel that portable interpretable object code is within the scope of the
    Unicode Standard.

    > 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.

    Since at least 2002 you have floated various proposals, more or less
    formally, to encode things in Unicode that are outside the generally
    accepted scope of the standard.

    > 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.

    Both traditional standards organizations and industry consortiums have
    the right to decide what is and is not in scope for the standards they

    In particular, both ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 and the Unicode Consortium and
    its Technical Committee have the right to decide that executable machine
    languages are not in scope for ISO/IEC 10646 and the Unicode Standard.

    Whether or not you view this as "holding back progress" is immaterial.

    > 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.

    I firmly believe that you feel that way.

    Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
    RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­

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