Tag characters and in-line graphics (from Tag characters)

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com
Sat May 30 03:47:05 CDT 2015

Responding to Doug Ewell:

> I think this cuts to the heart of what people have been trying to say all along.

> Historically, Unicode was not meant to be the means by which brand new ideas are run up the proverbial flagpole to see if they will gain traction.

History is interesting and can be a good guide, yet many things that are an accepted part of Unicode today started as new ideas that gained traction and became implemented. So history should not be allowed to be a reason to restrict progress.

For example, there was the extension from 1 plane to 17 planes.

There was the introduction of emoji support.

There was the introduction of the policy of colour sometimes being a recorded property rather than having just the original monochrome recording policy.

There has been the change of encoding policy that facilitated the introduction of the Indian Rupee character into Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 far more quickly than had been thought possible, so that the encoding was ready for use when needed.

There has been the recent encoding policy change regarding encoding of pure electronic use items taking place without (extensive prior use using a Private Use Area encoding), such as the encoding of the UNICORN FACE.

There is the recent change to the deprecation status of most of the tag characters and the acceptance of the base character followed by tag characters technique so as to allow the specifying of a larger collection of particular flags.


The two questions that I asked in my response to a post by Mark E. Shoulson are relevant here.

Suppose that a plain text file is to include just one non-standard emoji graphic. How would that be done otherwise than by the format that I am suggesting?

What if there were three such non-standard emoji graphics needed in the plain text file, the second graphic being used twice. How would that be done otherwise than by the format that I am suggesting?

William Overington

30 May 2015

More information about the Unicode mailing list