About cultural/languages communities flags

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Thu Feb 12 22:15:56 CST 2015

RIS could represent languages as well, using BCP47 principle, except that
they start by an ISO
3166 coide (as there's no territory, you'd normally use a 3166 code for
undetermined region, but there's no 3166 code that starts by an hyphen.
So to use a BCP47 language tag you could use the hyphen reencoded to RIS as
the first character.
The problem is that langauge codes in BCP47 have variable sizes. Even if
you limit just to the ISO639 compatible repertoire (3 letter codes) you'd
need to use 4 RIS codes
And the language flags would be represented as RIS(HYPHEN)+RIS(ISO639-3

4 codes would work with font rendering engines that can build 3 successive
ligatures from left to right

If there's no match for a know flag (or if there's an exact multiple of 4
RIS codes), the default glyphs would just show a blank flag frame showing
the RIS Code converted back to ASCII letters (rendered with a small
capitals style: where the first glyph shows the flag's hoist and the first
RIS code and i.e. the hyphen, the 2nd and 3rd gyphs shows the top/bottom
part of the blank frame an the ASCII character the 4th glyph is similar but
adds the flying end of the flag, possibly decorated with non rectangular
frame). If there remains less than 4 RIS codes, the flag frame would add
the flying end of the flag, with no letter (or just the SPACE).. The wole
would be in a large dotted frame to exhibit the special format.

These default glyphs are easy to produce in the font. Then to support more
languages (7000 languages : 7000 flags ? certainly not so many exist...),
you just have to map new ligatures to replace the default ligatures by more
accurate "flags".

But my opinion is that "flags" (even ifshowing them generically) are not
the cood concept for languages (I would highly prefer a "speech bubble
frame" like on comics, even if some applications could render in them a
colorful regional flag., or the letter code within the "sonor waves" of an
audio speaker device.

2015-02-09 22:11 GMT+01:00 Joan Montané <joan at montane.cat>:

> Hi all,
> I am the one who made the request to tweemoji Github.
> 2015-02-09 20:16 GMT+01:00 Markus Scherer <markus.icu at gmail.com>:
>> On Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 9:54 AM, Andrea Giammarchi <
>> andrea.giammarchi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > if a cultural/language TLD is typed with Unicode RIS, then show the
>>> flag for these culture/language:
>> This does not work. The "Unicode RIS" are defined to be used in pairs,
>> with semantics according to corresponding ISO 3166 alpha2 codes. In your
>> examples, each successive pair will encode a flag.
> AFAIK, this is done in font side. Emoji flags are just ligatures, so a
> font can provide a ligature for 4 RIS characters. This is not an issue here.
> I agree some strange behaviour can appear if a 3 RIS string, take CAT, is
> shown in a system with only 2 RIS support (a Canadian will appear followed
> by a T).
> If you want to represent every flag of every locality, you first have to
>> figure out how to catalog and label them. You are mentioning provinces, one
>> level down from nation states; I guess there are thousands of them. In much
>> of Europe, every little village
>> <http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterstadt> has its own flag and coat of
>> arms. Where do you want the text encoding and fonts to stop?
> I don't request flag support for every flag in the world. I requested
> flags for culture/language communities *with* an approved TLD (Top Level
> Domain).
> I know flags are an issue, and I know flags represents territories, not
> languages, but I think some support should be done for these active
> communities. As I pointed, some country flag collections expand with a fews
> non-independent country.  See [1], [2] and [3] (search for Scottish or
> Welsh flag). You can check this [4] petition requesting Catalan flag on
> WhatsApp.
> So, there is a demand and they are used in real world. What's the way for
> encoding them in Unicode standard?
> Thanks,
> Joan Montané
> [1] http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/flags/
> [2] https://www.gosquared.com/resources/flag-icons/
> [3] http://www.sherv.net/flag-emoticons.html
> [4]
> https://www.change.org/p/whatsapp-inc-incloure-la-senyera-de-catalunya-a-whatsapp
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