New Public Review on QID emoji

Ken Whistler via Unicode unicode at
Wed Oct 30 14:18:44 CDT 2019

On 10/30/2019 10:41 AM, wjgo_10009 at via Unicode wrote:
> At present I have a question to which I cannot find the answer.
> Is the QID emoji format, if approved by the Unicode Technical 
> Committee going to be sent to the ISO/IEC 10646 committee for 
> consideration by that committee?
> As the QID emoji format is in a Unicode Technical Standard and does 
> not include the encoding of any new _atomic_ characters, I am 
> concerned that the answer to the above question may well be along the 
> lines of "No" maybe with some reasoning as to why not.
As you surmised.
> Yet will a QID emoji essentially be _de facto_ a character even if not 
> _de jure_ a character?
That distinction is effectively meaningless. There are any number of 
entities that end users perceive as "characters", which are not 
represented by a single code point in the Unicode Standard (or 10646) -- 
and this has been the case now for decades.
> Yet if QID emoji are implemented by Unicode Inc. without also being 
> implemented by ISO/IEC 10646 then that could lead to future problems, 
> notwithstanding any _de jure_ situation that QID emoji are not 
> characters, because they will be much more than Private Use characters 
> yet less than characters that are in ISO/IEC 10646.

What you are missing is that *many* emoji are already represented by 
sequences of characters. See emoji modifier sequences, emoji flag 
sequences, emoji ZWJ sequences. *None* of those are specified in 10646, 
have not been for years now, and never will be. And yet, there is no de 
jure standardization crisis here, or any interoperability issue for 
emoji arising from that situation.

> I am in favour of the encoding of the QID emoji mechanism and its 
> practical application. However I wonder about what are the 
> consequences for interoperability and communication if QID emoji 
> become used - maybe quite widely - and yet the tag sequences are not 
> discernable in meaning from ISO/IEC 10646 or any related ISO/IEC 
> documents.

There may well be interoperability concerns specifically for the QID 
emoji mechanism, but that would be an issue pertaining to the 
architecture of that mechanism specifically. It isn't anything to do 
with the relationship between the Unicode Standard (and UTS #51) and 
ISO/IEC 10646.


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