Traction and Deprecation (was: Re: Unicode Emoji 5.0 characters now final)

Ken Whistler kenwhistler at
Wed Mar 29 16:22:32 CDT 2017

On 3/29/2017 1:12 PM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> Is that common practice in Unicode, that if something doesn't gain
> significant traction in the comparatively short term, it becomes a
> candidate for deprecation?

If a mechanism was dodgy in the first place and was dubious as a part of 
plain text, then yes.

If a mechanism is clearly a necessary part of the text model, but takes 
a while to catch on, because it is inherently complicated to implement 
and roll out, then no.

Remember, it took a good part of a decade for significant support of 
combining marks to start appearing in Unicode implementations. Even 
longer for fairly good support of the Indic rendering models.

If you are worried about the emoji tag sequence mechanism, then I'd say 
no. Once the use of regional indicator symbols caught on to represent 
flag emoji, that basically settled the question of whether pictographic 
symbols for flags were a part of plain text. Once the emoji tag 
sequences are rolled out for the regional flags (a process I can surmise 
is happening even now as we debate this), there will be no going back. 
You can be guaranteed, given the current attention to Brexit, that the 
tag sequence for the Scotland flag, at least, will leap up the emoji 
frequency list almost immediately. And that data will end up being 
supported essentially forever.


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