Private Use areas (was: Re: Thoughts on working with the Emoji Subcommittee (was ...))

Mark Davis ☕️ via Unicode unicode at
Mon Aug 20 14:12:42 CDT 2018

> ... some people who would call a PUA solution either batty
> or crazy.

I don't think it is either batty or crazy. People can certainly use the PUA
to interchange text (assuming that they have downloaded fonts and keyboards
or some other input method beforehand), and
 can definitely serve as a proof of concept
. Plain symbols — with no interactions between them (like changing shape
with complex scripts), no combining/non-spacing marks, no case mappings,
and so on — are the best possible case for PUA.

The only caution I would give is that people shouldn't expect general
purpose software to do anything with PUA text that depends on character


On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 8:52 PM Doug Ewell via Unicode <unicode at>

> James Kass wrote:
> > As a caveat, some Unicode cognoscenti express disdain for the PUA, so
> > there would be some people who would call a PUA solution either batty
> > or crazy.
> I'm concerned that the constant "health warnings" about avoiding the PUA
> may have scared everyone away from this primary use case.
> Yes, you run the risk of someone else's PUA implementation colliding
> with yours. That's why you create a Private Use Agreement, and make sure
> it's prominently available to people who want to use your solution. It's
> not like there are hundreds of PUA schemes anyway.
> Yes, you will have to convert any existing data if the solution ever
> gets encoded in Unicode. That happened for Deseret and Shavian, and
> maybe others, and the sky didn't fall.
> People forget that it was the PUA in Shift-JIS, by Japanese mobile
> providers, that provided the platform for emoji to take off to such an
> extent that... well, we know the rest. If private-use is good enough for
> a legacy encoding, it ought to be good enough for Unicode.
> --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US |
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