the wheels on the bus

Tex Texin textexin at
Fri Sep 11 18:26:40 CDT 2015

Why do so many of the threads on this list seem best described as wheels coming off the bus? (Where is the emoji for that?)

It is all too common for a thread to start, its appropriateness questioned, and then meta, policy and legalistic analysis ensue to no real end.

I understand we often enter gray areas for what is appropriate for Unicode to include and to what the interest of a diverse list going from newbies to experts and longstanding members, innovative and pragmatic folks, so we get discussion at all levels and we want to be extremely tolerant. (OK, we means me. Not sure what you all think, but this is how I interpret the policies here and the comments being made).

Since we don’t want to ban people but we want to improve the quality of the discussions, perhaps we can do the following.

Create another list for meta, policy, and topics that are not directly encoding related.
If a thread starts here, and a number of voices indicate it is off topic or if the mighty Sarasvati deems so, the discussion gets moved to the "meta list" (by Satasvati or a UTC delegate).

There the idea can evolve, be debated, or die on the vine. At some point if it becomes a proposal to the UTC, or is refined enough that Sarasvati or some delegate ordained by Unicode can bring the idea back to this list. But it should only come back if authorized. Violating that policy is grounds for banishment.

By "move" I do not mean deleted from this list. We just need to stipulate further discussion is on the "meta" list.

An approach  like this gives ideas that are not of obvious interest or relevance to this list a place to go. And yes the decision as to which subjects should be moved over is still gray and Solomon-like, but since the discussion has a home those who want to pursue it can do so, so the practice isn’t harmful. And it should reduce the urge for advocates to keep bringing the unwanted subjects up on this list.

The other benefit is I, and I am sure many others wanted to echo Asmus and others comments about the poll or other topics being off topic. I didn’t respond as me too messages make the problem worse. If an off topic thread is moved over, then even the "so glad it moved" messages can go there. Or messages of a new type "Please bring this off topic thread from the Unicode list over here..."

Ok, I have rolled out a new bus and I know the wheels are coming off.

-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 11:35 AM
To: Rick McGowan
Cc: Unicode Mailing List
Subject: RE: VS: [somewhat off topic] straw poll

Rick McGowan <rick at unicode dot org> wrote:

> In section 1.1, page 3:
> *Note, however, that the Unicode Standard does not encode 
> idiosyncratic, personal, novel, or private-use characters, nor does it 
> encode logos or graphics.*

Is there a statement anywhere about entities that aren't characters in any sense, other than having an arbitrary glyph assigned to them in a font somewhere?

What about encoding things on speculation of future use, without a clear indication of imminent adoption -- the criterion applied to the euro sign, and more recently to emoji?

> I'm not sure UTC has ever made any specific pronouncement on the 
> topic, but they do sometimes add things to the notice of 
> non-approvals, which can generally be taken as a precedent.

Unfortunately for those hoping for a definitive statement, even non-approvals are occasionally overturned; U+1E9E LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S leaps to mind. Evidently nothing short of a specific pronouncement on this specific topic will suffice.

Doug Ewell | | Thornton, CO ����

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