On the lack of a SQUARE TB glyph

Doug Ewell via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Sun Sep 29 11:51:07 CDT 2019

Fred Brennan wrote:

> The purpose of Unicode is plaintext encoding, is it not? The square TB
> form is fundamentally no different than the square form of Reiwa,
> U+32FF ㋿, which was added in a hurry. The difference is that SQUARE
> TB's necessity and use is a slow thing which happened over years, not
> all of a sudden via one announcement of the Japanese government.

I think the case you are going to have to make is that applications exist which *must* use the single-code-point character for this purpose, instead of simply being able to use U+0054 plus U+0042.

As others have stated, it was easily demonstrated that applications existed in Japan which required a single code point for the era name. That is what necessitated the acceptance, let alone fast-tracking, of U+32FF SQUARE ERA NAME REIWA.

The characters in the CJK Compatibility block were added for exactly that reason — compatibility with character encoding standards that existed prior to Unicode. There has never been any expectation that sets or sequences in that and other "compatibility" blocks would be updated continually. Compatibility with character sets created since the wide adoption of Unicode, such as in 2008, is also not guaranteed.

Earlier I wrote "[t]his seems like a reasonable candidate for a proposal," not necessarily because UTC will agree with the stated use case, but because talking about such a character on the mailing list won't get it added.

> In plaintext SQUARE TB is fundamentally different than ASCII T followed by
> ASCII B. Plaintext tables (and programs generating them) and files already
> using SQUARE MB, SQUARE GB, etc benefit from SQUARE TB.

That is something you would have to demonstrate in your proposal: that there are important processes (as in, "the government and industry and commerce depend on this") that use ㎅ ㎆ ㎇ which it would not be feasible to extend or modify to use Basic Latin TB, PB, EB, etc. That was the case made for the Reiwa sign: that there were important processes using ㍾ ㍽ ㍼ ㍻ that could not simply use the two existing characters 令和 for Reiwa.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US | ewellic.org

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