VS: The scope of Unicode (from Re: How can my research become implemented in a standardized manner?)

Erkki I Kolehmainen eik at iki.fi
Fri Oct 23 12:31:57 CDT 2015

Dear Mr. Overington,


First of all, you have never paid any attention to the formidable problems of getting vetted translations of whatever proposed (or to be ---) standard sentences of yours. You have admitted that you are not at all familiar with CLDR, but the people who have worked on CLDR are fully aware of the problems of getting agreed to localized expressions for all kinds of items.


The value of deposit at the British Library seems questionable at best. Furthermore, if published means published on this list, it has no value whatsoever, since it does not mean any peer review and acceptance, which – as you well know – isn’t forthcoming. 


Incidentally, the standards body that has had considerable dealings with some of  the kinds of problems that you claim to be researching is ETSI Human Factors. You might want to approach them in order to get any support.




Erkki I. Kolehmainen


Lähettäjä: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at unicode.org] Puolesta William_J_G Overington
Lähetetty: 23. lokakuuta 2015 18:01
Vastaanottaja: rick at unicode.org; unicode at unicode.org
Aihe: Re: The scope of Unicode (from Re: How can my research become implemented in a standardized manner?)


Thank you for your comprehensive answer.

Rick McGowan wrote:

> Personally, I think you're getting ahead of yourself. First, you should demonstrate that you have done research and produced results that at least some people find so useful and important that they are eager to implement the findings. Then, once you have done that, think about standardizing something, but only after you have a working model of the thing sufficient to demonstrate its general utility.

I am an independent researcher, researching at home, using the internet and various software items on a laptop computer.

I am not able to produce a working model. I can mostly only produce thought experiments, sometimes expressed as a simulation, like a story narrative. Maybe I could produce a short animation movie.

> While I do not speak for the UTC in any way, observations of the committee over a period of some years have led me to conclude that they never encode something, call it "X", on pure speculation that some future research might result in "X" being useful for some purpose that has not even been demonstrated as a need, or clearly enough articulated to engender the committee's confidence in its potential utility.

Well, as I say, I am an independent researcher, researching at home.

May I just mention one thing though which might be regarded as significant.

A short time ago I was talking with someone who is a clinician and I asked about whether there were issues trying to communicate with people through the language barrier.

I was told that sometimes people bring a relative or friend to translate.

An example was given to me of sometimes needing to use mime to try to express the meaning of "Have you vomited?".

I asked if the following would be helpful.

Use your computer to look down a menu for a preset sentence "Have you vomited?".

Select the sentence.

Behind the scenes a code is generated.

Throw the code to the mobile telephone of the patient.

On the screen of the patient's mobile telephone the sentence localized into his or her language is displayed.

I said that there would be a standardized list of preset sentences, set out in English as International Standards are produced in English and that the National Standardization Body for each country would translate the list into the language of its country and produce a list to convert the codes to the local language.

There was amazement and enthusiasm for this possibility.

So there we are.

The supreme irony of all of this is that there has been much objection to my invention in this mailing list over the years, with no good reason ever stated, yet it would be the very existence of The Unicode Standard itself that would allow the localized text to appear on the screen of the mobile telephone of the patient!

If this invention had been made in the research laboratory of a large information technology company maybe things would be very different.

William Overington

23 October 2015





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