Encoding italic

Tex via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Thu Jan 31 01:44:35 CST 2019

David, Asmus,
·       “without external standards, then it's simply impossible.”

·       “And without external standard, not interoperable.“

As you both know there are de jure as well as de facto standards. So for years people typed : - ) as a smiley without a de facto standard and at some point long before emoji, systems began converting these to smiley faces.

Even the utf-8 BOM began as one company’s non-interoperable convention for encoding identifier which later became part of the de facto standard.

Ideally interoperability means supported everywhere but we have many useful mechanisms that simply don’t do harm without being interpreted.

For example, Unicode relies on this for backward compatibility when it introduces new characters, properties, algorithms, et al that are not understood by all systems but are tolerated by older ones.


While I am at it, I am amused by the arguments earlier in this thread as well as other threads, that go:

·       If the feature was needed developers would have implemented it by now. It isn’t implemented so the standard doesn’t need it.

·       The feature was implemented without the standard, so we don’t need it in the standard.

If men were meant to fly they would have wings…

Apparently, for some, it is only when there are many conflicting implementations that a feature demonstrates both that it is a requirement and also that it should be standardized.

In fact, this is sometimes not a bad view as it prevents adding features to the standard that go unused yet add complexity. 

But, it can also set too high a bar. And often it isn’t a true criteria but just resistance to change.

You  don’t need italics. When I went to school we just tilted the terminal a few degrees and voila.

(You don’t need a car. When I went to school we walked 6 miles to get there. Uphill both ways. J )




From: Unicode [mailto:unicode-bounces at unicode.org] On Behalf Of Asmus Freytag via Unicode
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:20 PM
To: unicode at unicode.org
Subject: Re: Encoding italic


On 1/30/2019 7:46 PM, David Starner via Unicode wrote:

On Sun, Jan 27, 2019 at 12:04 PM James Kass via Unicode
 <mailto:unicode at unicode.org> <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:

A new beta of BabelPad has been released which enables input, storing,
and display of italics, bold, strikethrough, and underline in plain-text

Okay? Ed can do that too, along with nano and notepad. It's called
HTML (TeX, Troff). If by plain-text, you mean self-interpeting,
without external standards, then it's simply impossible.

It's either "markdown" or control/tag sequences. Both are out of band information.

And without external standard, not interoperable.


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