Running out of code points, redux (was: Re: Feedback on the proposal...)

Philippe Verdy via Unicode unicode at
Thu Jun 1 16:47:31 CDT 2017

This is still very unlikely to occur. Lot of discussions about emojis but
they still don't count a lot in the total.
The major updates were epected for CJK sinograms, but even the rate of
updates has slowed down and we will eventually will have another
sinographic plane, but it will not come soon and will be very slow to fill
in. This still leaves enough planes for several decenials or more.

May be in the next century a new encoding will be designed but we have
ample time to prepare this to reflect the best practives and experiences
acquired, and it will probably not happen because we lack of code points
but only because some experimentations will have proven that another
encoding is better performing and less complex to manage (just like the
ongoing transition from XML to JSON for the UCD) and because current
supporters of Unicode will prefer this new format and will have implemented
it (starting first by an automatic conversion from the existing encoding in
Unicode and ISO 10646, which will no longer be needed in deployed client

I bet it will still be an 8-bit based encoding using 7-bit ASCII (at least
the ngraphic part plus a few controls, but some other controls will be
remapped), but it could be simply a new 32 bit or 64-bit encoding.

Before this change ever occurs, there will be the need to demonstrate that
it is better performing, that it allows smooth transition and excellent
compatibility (possibly with efficient transcoders) and many implementation
"quirks" will have been resolved (including security risks).

2017-06-01 21:54 GMT+02:00 Doug Ewell via Unicode <unicode at>:

> Richard Wordingham wrote:
> > even supporting 6-byte patterns just in case 20.1 bits eventually turn
> > out not to be enough,
> Oh, gosh, here we go with this.
> What will we do if 31 bits turn out not to be enough?
> --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US |
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