Tailoring the Marketplace (is: Re: Unicode Emoji 5.0 characters now final)
petercon at microsoft.com
Thu Mar 30 19:49:01 CDT 2017
The interest of consumers, in regard to emoji, will never be best met by Unicode-encoded emoji, no matter what process there is for determining what should be "recommended", because consumers inevitably want emoji they recommend for themselves, not what anybody else recommends. If Sally wants an emoji to convey her thoughts on her grandson's school play, or on the latest tweet from a politician, or whatever, she wants it _now_, and she doesn't particularly care if you or I would recommend that emoji to her or not. So, before we go talking about whether _Unicode_ is accommodating the benefit of consumers, I think should be asking whether _all the popular communications protocols_ are accommodating the benefit of consumers.
From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at unicode.org] On Behalf Of Marcel Schneider
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:07 PM
To: unicode at unicode.org
Subject: Tailoring the Marketplace (is: Re: Unicode Emoji 5.0 characters now final)
On Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:03:11 +0100 (BST), William_J_G Overington wrote:
> > What the UTC is looking for is commitments from major vendors.
> Well should it be applying such a filter on progress?
> I opine that assessment should be on merit and that new ideas should
> be considered on an even-handed basis. Progress should not be on the
> basis of what major vendors choose to do. Requiring commitments from
> major vendors could be a barrier to new enterprises developing and a
> barrier to progress for the benefit of consumers being made.
Thatʼs exactly the point: that the marketplace should be tailored for the benefit of consumers, not for the sole benefit of vendors. Instead, the question seems always to be “who is paying for it?” Another example has been recently discussed: the use of superscript letters is “discouraged”, seemingly to prevent a set of consumers from being able to write in an acceptable way a couple of languages in plain text, and to subjugate these customers to the use of a series of rich text software. The problem is not whether to use high-end software or not, but the way how users get their stuff messed up if they donʼt.
When it was up to encode the first set of superscript Latin letters in Unicode 1.0 — or were they *too* enforced by Bruce Paterson of ISO/IEC 10646? — all straightforward people surely were going to follow the pattern of:
2071 SUPERSCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER I
* functions as a modifier letter
# <super> 0069
207F SUPERSCRIPT LATIN SMALL LETTER N
* functions as a modifier letter
# <super> 006E
@ Latin subscript modifier letters
1D62 LATIN SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER I
# <sub> 0069
1D63 LATIN SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER R
# <sub> 0072
1D64 LATIN SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER U
# <sub> 0075
1D65 LATIN SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER V
# <sub> 0076
and name them accordingly. But given the way of finally calling them:
@@ 02B0 Spacing Modifier Letters 02FF
@ Latin superscript modifier letters
x (superscript latin small letter i - 2071) x (superscript latin small letter n - 207F)
02B0 MODIFIER LETTER SMALL H
# <super> 0068
02B1 MODIFIER LETTER SMALL H WITH HOOK
and so on, somebody must have arisen telling “Wait! if we label them as what they are, folks will use these instead of our software, so letʼs disguise them a bit!”
As a result, weʼve ended up with every script on earth being writeable in plain text except Latin. That seems to be an abuse of dominant position, to make an unknown amount of more bargain at the expense of a relatively narrow subset of disfavored end-users, as if the usefulness of vendorsʼ software would essentially depend on one single feature: superscript formatting.
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