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BETA UnicodeĀ® 15.0.0

The next version of the Unicode Standard will be Version 15.0.0, planned for release on September 13, 2022. This version updates several annexes to deal with segmentation issues and adds significant new repertoire. A total of 4489 new characters are encoded, including 20 new emoji characters, two new scripts, and multiple additions to existing blocks.

A beta version of the 15.0.0 Unicode Character Database files is available for public review. We strongly encourage implementers to review the summary description, download the beta 15.0.0 Unicode Character Database files, and test their programs with the new data, well before the end of the beta period. It is especially important to review the Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers.

We encourage users to check the code charts carefully to verify correctness of the new characters added to Unicode 15.0.0 and to ensure that there are no regressions in glyph shapes for previously encoded characters.

Summary description
Unicode character database (UCD)
Summary of beta charts
Single-block delta charts with yellow highlighting for new characters
Single-block charts for all of Unicode 15.0.0
Code charts - single download (100 MB)
Emoji charts for beta review
Auxiliary HTML charts for beta review

Related Unicode Technical Standards

In addition to the Unicode Standard proper, four other Unicode Technical Standards have significant text and data file updates that are correlated with the new additions for Unicode 15.0.0. Review of that text and data is also encouraged during the beta review period.

Review and Feedback

For guidance on how to focus your review, see the section Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers.

Any feedback should be reported using the contact form. Comments on the Unicode Standard Version 15.0.0 or the Unicode Character Database data files should refer to the beta review Public Review Issue #453. Comments on specific Version 15.0.0 UAXes and UTSes should refer to the respective Public Review Issue Numbers for each document, where available.

The comment period ends July 12, 2022. All substantive technical comments must have been received by that date for consideration at the July UTC meeting. Editorial comments (typos, etc.) may be still submitted after that date for consideration in the final editorial work.

Note: All beta files may be updated, replaced, or superseded by other files at any time. The beta files will be discarded once Unicode 15.0.0 is final. It is inappropriate to cite these files as other than a work in progress. No products or implementations should be released based on the beta UCD data files—use only the final, approved Version 15.0.0 data files, expected on September 13, 2022.

The Unicode Consortium provides early access to updated versions of the data files and text to give reviewers and developers as much time as possible to ensure a problem-free adoption of Version 15.0.0.

The assignment of characters for Unicode 15.0.0 is now stable. There will be no further additions or modifications of code points and no further changes to character names. Please do not submit feedback requesting changes to code points or character names for Unicode 15.0.0, as such feedback is not actionable.

One of the main purposes of the beta review period is to verify and correct the preliminary character property assignments in the Unicode Character Database. Reviewers should check for property changes to existing Unicode 14.0.0 characters, as well as the property values for the new Unicode 15.0.0 character additions. The Auxiliary HTML charts include the new characters highlighted in yellow, with names appearing when hovering over a cell. These charts may be useful for reviewing information such as the default collation order, Script property assignments, and so forth during beta review.

To facilitate verification of the property changes and additions, diffable XML versions of the Unicode Character Database are available. For more information, see the diffs.readme.txt file.

The beta review period is a good opportunity to add support for the new Unicode 15.0.0 characters in internal versions of software, so that software can be tested to verify that the new characters and property assignments do not cause problems when upgraded to Version 15.0.0 of Unicode.

Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers

Changes to Unicode Standard Annexes

Some of the Unicode Standard Annexes have modifications for Unicode 15.0.0, often in coordination with changes to character properties. Most notably for Unicode 15.0.0:

  • There are a series of updates to UAX #31, Unicode Identifier and Pattern Syntax and to UTS #39, Unicode Security Mechanisms, to clarify issues regarding identifiers in programming languages, particularly in bidirectional contexts, as well as the use of ZWJ and ZWNJ in identifiers. A coordinated example was also added to UAX #9, Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm, to illustrate the appropriate use of a higher-level protocol for identifiers in a bidirectional context. See the Modifications sections of these three specifications for details.
  • In UAX #38, Unicode Han Database (Unihan) there have been significant updates to the descriptions of some data fields, and additional information is provided about sources. UAX #38 also has updated regex values for numerous Unihan properties.
  • In UAX #45, U-Source Ideographs, a new status value has been added for Extension H, and there is more description provided for the IDS field.

See the Modifications section of each Annex for details of the relevant changes.

Core Specification Update

The core specification is undergoing extensive review, with numerous additions for Version 15.0.0. Although the draft text for Version 15.0.0 is not yet available, specific reports of any technical or editorial issues in the currently published core specification are also welcome during the beta review period. Such reports will be taken into consideration for corrections to the Version 15.0.0 draft. (Note: The Unicode Consortium has ongoing opportunities for subject-matter volunteers: experts interested in contributing to or editing relevant parts of the core specification or other Unicode specifications.)

Script-specific Issues

Two new scripts have been added in Unicode 15.0.0. Some of these scripts have particular attributes which may cause issues for implementations. The more important of these attributes are summarized here.

  • Kawi is a Brahmic script with complex rendering rules. See the original proposal documentation in L2/20-284 for an extensive discussion.

Numeric Property Issues

  • Two new sets of decimal digits have been added, for the Kawi and Nag Mundari scripts. Implementations of digits will need to take those into account.
  • Kaktovik numerals have been added. This is another vigesimal number system, similar in structure to Mayan numerals.

Unihan-related Issues

All Unihan properties should be reviewed carefully. Additionally, the following deserve special attention:

  • A new provisional property, kAlternateTotalStrokes, has been added to Unihan. This property supplements the existing informative kTotalStrokes property with total number of strokes for ideographs other than those with G and T source identifiers.
  • Nearly 50,000 additions to the kKangXi property were derived from the kIRG_GSource and kIRGKangXi properties.
  • There are large changes and additions in the values for the kDefinition, kSimplifiedVariant, kTraditionalVariant, kSemanticVariant, and kSpecializedSemanticVariant properties.

See UAX #38 for further details on these changes, especially Section 4.2, Listing by Date of Addition to the Unicode Standard, and Section 4.3, Listing by Location within Unihan.zip. UAX #38 also has updated regex values for numerous Unihan properties.

Code Charts

As always, careful review of the updated code charts for Version 15.0.0 is advised, especially for all newly added scripts. Particular issues to take note of include:

  • There was a significant update in the fonts used for many CJK extended blocks, to improve the design and consistency of glyphs. Details of the affected ranges of glyphs can be found in the Glyph and Variation Sequence Changes table on the single block delta charts page.
  • There have also been systematic updates to many glyphs in the UCAS and UCAS Extended blocks, to more accurately reflect current practice, particularly for Carrier.

Collation-related Issues

The Default Unicode Collation Element Table (DUCET) was updated to the Unicode 15.0.0 repertoire for UCA 15.0. For the most part, the additions for new scripts and other characters are unremarkable, but implementations should be checked to ensure the new additions do not cause problems.

Other Issues

Please also check the following specific items carefully:

  • 20 new emoji characters have been added. However, in addition to those individual characters, many new emoji sequences have been recognized, as well. If your implementation supports emoji, be sure to carefully review UTS #51, Unicode Emoji (PRI #454).
  • WARNING: There is a change to the end of one existing CJK unified ideograph range in Unicode 15.0.0. Because implementations often hard-code ideographic ranges to short-cut lookups and reduce table sizes, it is especially important that implementers pay close attention to the implications of range changes for Version 15.0.0. This extension bumps up the end range of the encoded ideographs by one code point within the block:

    • 1 code points for Extension C: ending at U+2B739

    See Section 4.4, Listing of Characters Covered by the Unihan Database in UAX #38 for the version history of all these small CJK unified ideograph additions inside existing blocks.

The following blocks are new in Unicode 15.0.0. Check implementations carefully for any range or property value assumptions regarding these new blocks. See also the single-block delta charts.

Range Block Name
10EC0..10EFF Arabic Extended-C
11B00..11B5F Devanagari Extended-A
11F00..11F5F Kawi
1D2C0..1D2DF Kaktovik Numerals
1E030..1E08F Cyrillic Extended-D
1E4D0..1E4FF Nag Mundari
31350..323AF CJK Unified Ideographs Extension H

The new Arabic block, Arabic Extended-C, defaults the entire range of code points in the block, 10EC0..10EFF to Bidi_Class=AL. This is a change from Unicode 14.0, in which that unassigned range defaulted to Bidi_Class=R.

In addition to the new blocks, one existing block had a slight adjustment to its end range. The Egyptian Format Controls block range was extended by two columns to end at U+1345F, instead of U+1343F. Implementations should be checked carefully for any hard-coded assumptions about the end ranges of existing blocks.

Some blocks have also had font updates; see the single-block delta charts for details. In such cases, careful review of the blocks in question is advised, to ensure that there have not been any regressions in representative glyph display.

Starting with Version 15.0, some data files in the UCD may contain multiple @missing lines defined for the same property. This is currently the case for DerivedBidiClass.txt. UCD file parsers will need to be updated to treat the additional @missing lines like data lines. See UAX #44 Section 4.2.10, @missing Conventions for details.

The file IdnaTestV2.txt is now written with certain characters escaped using the \uXXXX and \x{XXXX} conventions. This was already documented in the file header, and the same escaping conventions were used in the earlier IdnaTest.txt file.

General Issues

For current proposed updates to the particular UAXes, see Proposed Updates for Standard Annexes or use the links in the navigation bar on this page. Particular issues in the UAXes may also be the focus of specific Public Review Issues. Each proposed textual change in a UAX is highlighted, so that you can focus your review on those sections if you have limited time. The changes are also listed in detail in the Modifications sections (linked from the table of contents of each document), and are summarized in UAX changes, so you can check on those areas that might be of most interest.

Some links between beta documents and the proposed updates for UAXes will not work correctly during the beta review period. This is a known problem which does not need to be reported, as such links point to the eventual final names or revision numbers for the released versions.

Stability

Certain character properties for newly assigned characters cannot be changed after the formal release of each version of the standard, because of the Character Encoding Stability Policy. Such character property values need special attention during the beta review process, as they cannot be corrected after publication. These include:

  • Any property affecting Unicode Normalization, including Decomposition_Mapping, Canonical_Combining_Class, and Composition_Exclusion.
  • The determination of whether a character is included in identifiers (XID_Start, XID_Continue).
  • Case mappings and case foldings.