Unicode Emoji 5.0 characters now final

Martin J. Dürst duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Tue Mar 28 21:32:37 CDT 2017

Hello Doug,

On 2017/03/29 03:41, Doug Ewell wrote:

> If this story sounds vaguely familiar to old-timers, it's exactly the
> path that was followed the last time Plane 14 tag characters were under
> discussion, between 1998 and 2000: someone wrote an RFC to embed
> language tags in plain text using invalid UTF-8 sequences; Unicode
> responded by introducing a proper, conformant mechanism to use Plane 14
> characters instead; then the conformant replacement mechanism itself was
> deprecated and users were told to use out-of-band tagging, exactly what
> the original RFC sought to avoid.

I think there is some missing information here. First, the original 
proposal that used invalid UTF-8 sequences never was an RFC, only an 
Internet Draft. But what's more important, the protocol that motivated 
all this work (ACAP) never went anywhere. Nor did any other use of the 
plane 14 language tag characters get any kind of significant traction. 
That lead to depreciation, because it would have been a bad idea to let 
people think that the information in these taggings would actually be used.

For some people (including me), that was always seen as the likely 
outcome; the language tag characters were mostly introduced as a 
defensive mechanism (way better than invalid UTF-8) rather than 
something we hoped everybody would jump on. Putting them on plane 14 
(which meant that it would be four bytes for each character, and 
therefore quite a lot of bytes for each tag) was part of that message.

> "Not recommended," "not standard," "not interoperable," or any other
> term ESC settles on for the 5000+ valid flag sequences that are not
> England, Scotland, and Wales is just a short, easy step away from
> deprecation for these as well.

I think the situation is vastly different here. First, the Consortium 
never officially 'activated' any subdivision flags, so it would be 
impossible to deprecate them. Second, we already see some pressure (on 
this list) to 'recommend' more of these, and I guess the vendors and the 
Consortium will give in to this pressure, even if slowly and to some 
extent quite reluctantly. It's anyone's bet in what time frame and order 
e.g. the flags of California and Texas will be 'recommended'. But I have 
personally no doubt that these (and quite a few others) will eventually 
make it, even if I have mixed feelings about that.

Regards,   Martin.

More information about the Unicode mailing list