PRI #299

Leo Broukhis leob at
Fri Jul 3 23:52:52 CDT 2015

Most platforms display unknown printable characters as white
rectangles with hex digits in them.
In Doug's message, I saw a rectangle with 01F in the upper row, and
3F3 in the lower row.
Moreover, on any platform when users see unknown characters, they
search for a font, install it and are able to see in cleartext at
least something they can make sense of. For a RIS or any other
non-default-ignorable character on a non-vexillology-aware platform, a
font with  stylized letters would be sufficient to read the intent of
the writer, and, as a free extra, to tell apart Liechtenstein and
Haiti without squinting.

On Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 9:38 PM, Ken Whistler <kenwhistler at> wrote:
> On 7/3/2015 9:14 PM, Leo Broukhis wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 12:50 PM, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:
> Leo Broukhis <leob at mailcom dot com> wrote:
> What I don't like about PRI #399 is its proposing to use default-
> ignorable characters. On a non-vexillology-aware platform, I'd like
> to see something informative, albeit not resembling a flag, but
> indicative of the intention to display a flag, like RIS can be, as
> opposed to nondescript white flags.
> But then a reader will have to look at the raw Unicode bytestream to
> find out *which* specific flag was intended.
> How convenient is that?
> Ah, but on a "non-vexillology-aware platform", if it is just ignoring
> all this vexatious trouble of mapping the tag sequences to identifiable
> flag pictographs, you're just as likely that the fonts/renderers
> involved won't do anything comprehensible with any new
> non-default-ignorable metacharacter additions, either -- particularly as
> they
> would be Unicode 10.0+ additions to the standard. So the most
> likely display would end up looking more like: ⚐ □ □ □ □
> How convenient is that?
> --Ken

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