Fred Brennan via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Wed Dec 18 20:58:39 CST 2019

On Wednesday, December 18, 2019 9:43:06 PM PST Joao S. O. Bueno via Unicode 
> Maybe it would make more sense to try and check whether modification
> combining characters to shift the change the combined character into other
> weight/decoration/color and/or other character effects could be built, that
> could be used not only along emoji, but with all other characters.
> Currently those transforms require the use of another text protocol, like
> HTML, or ANSI sequences for terminal, or even proprietary and add-hoc text
> file structures like Microsoft's .doc and .rtf (and other not that
> proprietary, but equally dependant on specific software to be proper
> rendered, like .ooxml and .odf).
> Does anyone know if there is already an initiative like that? I'd like to
> know more about it.

There was a request like this, and it was first recommended for rejection by 
the Script Ad Hoc committee, and was then rejected by the Unicode Technical 
Committee. It wasn't for bold, it was for italic, but the reasons for its 
rejection apply broadly to bold, rotalic, etc.

The request was L2/19-063, “A proposal for encoding italics in plain text 
using Variation Selector 14,” by William Overington, submitted 2019-02-07.

Deborah Anderson, et al., recommended the request for rejection in L2/19-173, 
“Recommendations to UTC #159 April-May 2019 on Script Proposals”. In practice, 
although the UTC has the power to ignore their recommendation, they rarely 
ever do.

Overington tried to answer some of their concerns in L2/19-195, “Comments on 
comments about L2/19-063 Italics in Plain Text”.

His comments did not sway the UTC and the UTC rejected the request.

It's not worth writing another request for generic bold/italic in plaintext 
for any glyph in my humble opinion. The UTC and its subcommittees are opposed. 
I agree with them, so do many others.

Fred Brennan

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