Encoding italic (was: A last missing link)

David Starner via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Tue Jan 15 17:47:14 CST 2019

On Tue, Jan 15, 2019 at 1:47 PM James Kass via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org>

> Although there probably isn't really any concerted effort to "keep
> plain-text mediocre", it can sometimes seem that way.

Dennis Ritchie allegedly replied to requests for new features in C with “If
you want PL/I, you know where to find it.” C is still an austere language,
and still well used, with users who want C++ or Java knowing where to find
them. If you want all the features of rich text, use rich text.

Avant-garde enthusiasts are on the leading edge by definition. That's
> why they're known as trend setters.  Unicode exists because
> forward-looking people envisioned it and worked to make it happen.
> Regardless of one's perception of exuberance, Unicode turned out to be
> so much more than a fringe benefit.

Unicode exists because large corporations wanted to sell computers to users
around the world, and found supporting a million different character sets
was costly and buggy, and that users wanted to mix scripts in ways that a
single character set didn't support and ISO 2022 and similar solutions just
weren't cutting it.

That's a clear user story. People can use italics on computers without
problem. Twitter has chosen not to support italics on their platform, which
users have found hacky work-arounds for. That's not such a clear user
story; shouldn't Twitter add support for italics instead of changing every
system in the world?
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