A last missing link for interoperable representation

James Kass via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Mon Jan 14 00:24:46 CST 2019

Martin J. Dürst wrote,

 > I'd say it should be conservative. As the meaning of that word
 > (similar to others such as progressive and regressive) may be
 > interpreted in various way, here's what I mean by that.
 > It should not take up and extend every little fad at the blink of an
 > eye. It should wait to see what the real needs are, and what may be
 > just a temporary fad. As the Mathematical style variants show, once
 > characters are encoded, it's difficult to get people off using them,
 > even in ways not intended.

A conservative approach to progress is a sensible position for computer 
character encoders.  Taking a conservative approach doesn't necessarily 
mean being anti-progress.

Trying to "get people off" using already encoded characters, whether or 
not the encoded characters are used as intended, might give an 
impression of being anti-progress.

Unicode doesn't enforce any spelling or punctuation rules.  Unicode 
doesn't tell human beings how to pronounce strings of text or how to 
interpret them.  Unicode doesn't push any rules about splitting 
infinitives or conjugating verbs.

Unicode should not tell people how any written symbol must be 
interpreted.  Unicode should not tell people how or where to deploy 
their own written symbols.

Perhaps fraktur is frivolous in English text.  Perhaps its use would 
result in a new convention for written English which would enhance the 
literary experience.  Italics conventions which have only been around a 
hundred years or so may well turn out to be just a passing fad, so we 
should probably give it a bit more time.

Telling people they mustn't use Latin italics letter forms in computer 
text while we wait to see if the practice catches on seems flawed in 

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