The Unicode Standard and ISO

Asmus Freytag via Unicode unicode at
Thu May 17 11:43:28 CDT 2018

On 5/17/2018 8:08 AM, Martinho Fernandes via Unicode wrote:
> Hello,
> There are several mentions of synchronization with related standards in
>, e.g. in, and
> However, all such mentions
> never mention anything other than ISO 10646.

Because that is the standard for which there is an explicit 
understanding by all involved
relating to synchronization. There have been occasionally some 
challenging differences
in the process and procedures, but generally the synchronization is 
being maintained,
something that's helped by the fact that so many people are active in 
both arenas.

There are really no other standards where the same is true to the same 
> I was wondering which ISO standards other than ISO 10646 specify the
> same things as the Unicode Standard, and of those, which ones are
> actively kept in sync. This would be of importance for standardization
> of Unicode facilities in the C++ language (ISO 14882), as reference to
> ISO standards is generally preferred in ISO standards.
One of the areas the Unicode Standard differs from ISO 10646 is that its 
of a character's identity implicitly contains that character's 
properties - and those are
standardized as well and alongside of just name and serial number.

Many of these properties have associated with them algorithms, e.g. the 
bidi algorithm,
that are an essential element of data interchange: if you don't know 
which order in
the backing store is expected by the recipient to produce a certain 
display order, you
cannot correctly prepare your data.

There is one area where standardization in ISO relates to work in 
Unicode that I can
think of, and that is sorting. However, sorting, beyond the underlying 
ultimately relates to languages, and language-specific data is now 
housed in CLDR.

Early attempts by ISO to standardize a similar framework for locale data 
failed, in
part because the framework alone isn't the interesting challenge for a 
instead it is the collection, vetting and management of the data.

The reality is that the ISO model and its organizational structures are 
not well suited
to the needs of many important area where some form of standardization 
is needed.
That's why we have organization like IETF, W3C, Unicode etc..

Duplicating all or even part of their effort inside ISO really serves 
nobody's purpose.


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