Encoding italic (was: A last missing link)

Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Wed Jan 23 20:07:48 CST 2019

On 1/19/19 1:19 PM, wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com via Unicode wrote:
> Well, a variation sequence character is being used for requesting 
> emoji display (is that a control code?), so it seems there is no lack 
> of precedent to use one for italics. It seems that someone only has to 
> say 'out of scope' and then that is the veto for any consideration of 
> a new idea for ISO/IEC 10646 or The Unicode Standard. There seems to 
> be no way for a request to the committee to consider a widening of the 
> scope to even be put before the committee if such a request is from 
> someone outside the inner circle.

You make it sound like there's been invented some magical incantation 
that *anyone* can use to quash all discussion on a particular (your) 
topic.  It doesn't just take someone saying "out of scope."  It also has 
to *be* out of scope!  If someone chants the incantation, but I can 
persuasively argue that no, it IS in scope, then the spell fails.  
Requesting the scope of Unicode be widened is not like other discussions 
being had here, so it makes sense that it should be treated differently, 
if treated at all. There were discussions and agreements made as to the 
scope of Unicode, long ago.  And just like you can't petition to change 
a character name, no matter how wrong it is, asking the Unicode 
consortium to redefine itself on your say-so is not going to be taken 
seriously either.  Out of scope means just that: it isn't something 
we're discussing.  Discussing how to change the scope so that 
whatever-it-is IS in scope is a very large undertaking, and would need a 
tremendous groundswell of support from all the major stakeholders in 
Unicode, so you should probably start there.  Get Microsoft and Google 
and various national bodies on your side, not just to say "um, ok, 
maybe," but to actively argue with you that the scope needs to be 
changed.  Or that there needs to be, as Asmus says, another, 
supplemental standard.  Raise popular support, write petitions, get 
signatures, all that fun stuff. "But so many of the people I would want 
to talk to about this are right here on this list!" you say?  Be that as 
it may, it doesn't mean the list has to grant you a platform.  Change 
the world on your own dime.

> It seems to me that it would be useful to have some codes that ....

See, once you start a proposal like that, you're already looking down 
the wrong end of the Unicode scope.  This is exactly what Asmus (I 
think) said in a quote I can't seem to find, repeating it for the n+1st 
time: Unicode isn't here to encode cool new ideas that would be cool and 
new.  It's here for writing what people already do.  You want a standard 
that does something else?  That's another thing.  It's as appropriate to 
demand that Unicode support these things as it would be to go to OSHA or 
the Bureau of Weights and Measures or the Académie Française and tell 
them you want some new letters...


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