Xiangqi Game Symbols (was Re: Proposal to add standardized variation sequences for chess notation)

Andrew West via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Wed Apr 12 04:13:37 CDT 2017

On 12 April 2017 at 05:12, Garth Wallace via Unicode
<unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
> Later Xiangqi proposals by Andrew West focused on
> the circled ideographs and did not pursue new diagram drawing characters,
> and were eventually successful.

My Xiangqi proposal
(http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2016/16255-n4748-xiangqi.pdf) proposed a
minimal set of logical game pieces for Xiangqi/Janggi, regardless of
shape (circular or octagonal) or design (traditional characters,
simplified characters, cursive characters, or pictures) which I
consider a font design issue, and explicitly did not seek to encode
circled ideographs. My proposal was rejected, and a different proposal
by Michael Everson
(http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2016/16270-n4766-xiangqi.pdf) to encode
all circled ideographs and negative circled ideographs attested in
Xiangqi game diagrams was accepted instead.

The accepted proposal for circled ideographs is a glyph encoding model
not a character encoding model as for other game symbols (Chess,
Dominos, Mahjong, Playing Cards, etc.), and in my opinion it is a very
bad model for several reasons. It makes the interchange of Xiangqi
game data and game diagrams problematic; it hinders normal text
processing operations on Xiangqi game pieces (for example, to search
for a red horse piece you have to search for three different
characters); and in modern computer usage Xiangqi game pieces may not
be represented as simple circled ideographs, but may be coloured
designs showing characters or images. It is also very likely that
vendors will want to produce emoji versions of Xiangqi pieces, and
these could not reasonably be considered to be glyph variants of
circled ideographs. There has been some negative feedback on the
circled ideographs model on the internet, and I believe that Michael
has now been convinced that this model is wrong, and should be
replaced by a model using logical game pieces.


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