The Unicode Standard and ISO

Philippe Verdy via Unicode unicode at
Sat Jun 9 09:38:05 CDT 2018

I just see the WG2 as a subcomity where governements may just check their
practices and make minimum recommendations. Most governements are in fact
very late to adopt the industry standards that evolve fast, and they just
want to reduce the frequency of necessary changes jsut to enterinate what
seems to be stable enough and gives them long enough period to plan the
transitions. So ISO 10646 has had in fact very few updates compared to
Unicode (even if these Unicode changes were "synchronized", most of them
remained for long within optional amendments that are then synchronized in
ISO 10646 long after the inbdustry has started working on updating their
code for Unicode and made checks to ensure that it is stable enough to be
finally included in ISO 10646 later as the new minimal platform that
governments can reasonnably ask to be provided by their providers in the
industry at reasonnable (or no) additional cost.
So I see now ISO 646 only as a small subset of the Unicode standard. The
WG2 technical comity is jsut there to finally approve what can be endorsed
as a standard whose usage is made mandatory in governments, when the UTS
itself is still (and will remain) just optional (not a requirement). It
takes months or years to have new TUS features being available on all
platforms that governements use. WG2 probably does not focus really on
technical merits, but just evaluating the implementation and deployment
costs, and that's where the WG2 members decide what is reasonnable for them
to adopt (let's also not forget that ISO standards are mapped to national
standards that reference it normatively, and these national standards (or
European standards in the EEA) are legal requirements: governements then no
longer need to specify each time which requirement they want, they're just
saying that the national standards within a certain class are required for
all product/service offers, and failure to implement theses standards will
require those providers to fix their products at no additional cost, and
independantly of the contractual or subscribed period of support).

2018-06-08 23:28 GMT+02:00 Marcel Schneider via Unicode <unicode at

> On Fri, 8 Jun 2018 13:33:20 -0700, Asmus Freytag via Unicode wrote:
> >
> […]
> > There's no value added in creating "mirrors" of something that is
> successfully being developed and maintained under a different umbrella.
> Wouldn’t the same be true for ISO/IEC 10646? It has no value added
> neither, and WG2 meetings could be merged with UTC meetings.
> Unicode maintains the entire chain, from the roadmap to the production
> tool (that the Consortium ordered without paying a full license).
> But the case is about part of the people who are eager to maintain an
> alternate forum, whereas the industry (i.e. the main users of the data)
> are interested in fast‐tracking character batches, and thus tend to
> shortcut the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC2 WG2. This is proof enough that applying
> the same logic than to ISO/IEC 15897, WG2 would be eliminated. The reason
> why it was not, is that Unicode was weaker and needed support
> from ISO/IEC to gain enough traction, despite the then‐ISO/IEC 10646 being
> useless in practice, as it pursued an unrealistic encoding scheme.
> To overcome this, somebody in ISO started actively campaigning for the
> Unicode encoding model, encountering fierce resistance from fellow
> ISO people until he succeeded in teaching them real‐life computing. He had
> already invented and standardized the sorting method later used
> to create UCA and ISO/IEC 14651. I don’t believe that today everybody
> forgot about him.
> Marcel
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Unicode mailing list