NamesList, Code Charts, ISO/IEC 10646

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Mon May 4 13:12:38 CDT 2015

2015-05-04 19:49 GMT+02:00 Asmus Freytag (t) <asmus-inc at>:

>  On 5/4/2015 10:32 AM, Philippe Verdy wrote:
>  So the Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 have only chosen to use and publish a
> single stable identifier throughout the standardization process; even if it
> is bad, it will be kept. These names are not designed to be even suitable
> for all English users (and just consider how CJK sinograms are named, they
> are not suitable for anyone...).
>  There are open projects (outside Unicode and even outside CLDR itself)
> to provide common character names in various locales.
> I'm sure there are - there may even be work on a character picker, but do
> you have any links?

That list is wide open, some projects will start others will end. Freqently
they will change the names shown in previous versions...
But you may just stat by looking in Wikipedia that frequently has articles
in lots of languages, and that provide external links. All editions are
also listing various aliases.

Even during the standardisation process, there were multiple names
discussed, but for tracking discussions and allowing plain text searches to
find the related discussions, before the character was finally encoded, the
technical identifier coming from a formal proposal was kept.
Sometimes for some characers there were competing proposals, but once one
of these formal has passed an early stage of balloting, this name is stable
and should not change (unless an alias was already listed in the accepted
proposal and it has been found that it was more frequently used in other
early discussions.
A limited number of proposed names are considered, and proper localisation
is definitely not a goal at this early stage: it would have been impossible
to produce the standard and encode so many characters if it was needed to
provide accurate names matching exactly the mosts frequent uses (or some
more rare uses, or future uses that will be made once the character will be

For getting lists of character pickers, we have the choice in various kind
of applications: accessories for desktop OSes, word processor tools, web
sites, wikis, articles in online forums and blogs, books and facsimiles
(PDF, DejaVu, photos...), spreadsheets, input method editors and custom
keyboard layouts for onscreen input (or input on touch devices...). The
choice is unlimited and expands everyday. Even without developing
applications, users are inventive and will name the characters as they want
in their informal discussions, mails, chats, SMS, tweets...

The Unicode namelists are just a basic set of properties, and its names are
just technical identifiers part of these properties where translation (or
even translatability, even in English) is definitely not a goal.

Another way to say it: « You don't like these "names" ? Great! in fact none
of us really like them. Develop your own list of names, publish it, and try
convincing others to use your list! »
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