The Unicode Standard and ISO

Philippe Verdy via Unicode unicode at
Thu Jun 7 17:43:04 CDT 2018

2018-06-07 21:13 GMT+02:00 Marcel Schneider via Unicode <unicode at

> On Thu, 17 May 2018 22:26:15 +0000, Peter Constable via Unicode wrote:
> […]
> > Hence, from an ISO perspective, ISO 10646 is the only standard for which
> on-going
> > synchronization with Unicode is needed or relevant.
> This point of view is fueled by the Unicode Standard being traditionally
> thought of as a mere character set,
> regardless of all efforts—lastly by first responder Asmus Freytag
> himself—to widen the conception.
> On Fri, 18 May 2018 00:29:36 +0100, Michael Everson via Unicode responded:
> >
> > It would be great if mutual synchronization were considered to be of
> benefit.
> > Some of us in SC2 are not happy that the Unicode Consortium has
> published characters
> > which are still under Technical ballot. And this did not happen only
> once.
> I’m not happy catching up this thread out of time, the less as it
> ultimately brings me where I’ve started
> in 2014/2015: to the wrong character names that the ISO/IEC 10646 merger
> infiltrated into Unicode.
> This is the very thing I did not vent in my first reply. From my point of
> view, this misfortune would be
> reason enough for Unicode not to seek further cooperation with ISO/IEC.

The "normative names" are in fact normative only as a forward reference to
the ISO/IEC repertoire becaus it insists that these names are essential
part of the stable encoding policy which was then integrated in the Unicode
stability rules, so that the normative reference remains stable as well).
Beside this, Unicode has other more useful properties. People don't care at
all about these names. The character properties and the related algorithms
that use them (and even the representative glyph even if it's not
stabilized) are much more important (and the ISO/IEC 101646 does not do
anything to solve the real encoding issues, and needed properties for
correct processing). Unicode is more based on commonly used practices and
allows experimetnation and progressive enhancing without having to break
the agreed ISO/EIC normative properties. The position of Unicode is more
pragmatic, and is much more open to lot of contibutors than the small
ISO/IEC subcomities with in fact very few active members, but it's still an
interesting counter-power that allows governments to choose where it is
more useful to contribute and have influence when the industry may have
different needs and practices not foàllowing the government recommendations
adopted at ISO.
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