Unicode Teaching in Universities

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com
Thu Sep 2 13:01:34 CDT 2021

There are at least two possible classes of downsides to Unicode, one 
class being the way that The Unicode Standard itself works, and another 
class being the politics of the way that "The Unicode Consortium", 
whatever that term means, operates.

For example, some time ago I put forward a proposal to use Variation 
Selector 14 to signal a request for a character to be displayed in 
italics. The proposal was turned down.

Having a character to turn on italics and a character to turn off 
italics is forbidden because that would make the system stateful. 
Alright, fine. Yet a proposal to allow characters to be made italic one 
at a time, so not stateful, is turned down because italics spans a 
number of characters in a word, a sentence or a paragraph. Yet making 
characters italic one at a time is how it has worked with metal type for 
over five hundred years.

Always the policy of "use a higher level protocol". All about layers 
decided decades ago. Decades before many aspects of modern information 
technology were invented.

I accept that having a character to turn on italics and a character to 
turn off italics as I suggested years ago would make Unicode stateful, I 
have learned.

Yet I put forward a suggestion that resolved that objection and yet 
suggestion that was stopped, in my opinion unnecessarily because as far 
as I know the idea could be useful and would be harmless and could be 
ignored by anyone who did not want to use it.

In this and in other ways, "The Unicode Consortium" is restricting 

William Overington

Thursday 2 September 2021

------ Original Message ------
From: "Doug Ewell via Unicode" <unicode at corp.unicode.org>
To: unicode at corp.unicode.org
Cc: "'Phake Nick'" <c933103 at gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, 2021 Sep 2 At 18:30
Subject: RE: Unicode Teaching in Universities
Phake Nick wrote:
but in recent years I feel like I have hear more about the downside
of using the Unicode system as a tool developed from early era of
computing before internet became popular and the use of such system
to digitalize the entire world's text,
It would be interesting to hear specifically what the "downside" is. 
Maybe Phake Nick can elaborate, or ask those who are unhappy with 
Unicode to elaborate.
Does the fact that Unicode was originally developed more than 30 years 
ago (I guess that's the "early era") bother people? How does "before 
internet became popular" play into this? A universal character set, free 
from the context-sensitive character set switching used in the JIS X 
standards, should be an ideal solution for the Internet.
Are users in Japan still concerned about Japanese characters requiring 3 
bytes in UTF-8 as opposed to 2 bytes in the JIS X standards? Does 
UTF-8's immunity from cross-site scripting attacks not outweigh this for 
Web purposes?
Do they still want to use out-of-band character-set designators as font 
selection hints? Are there still objections to CJK unification? And so 
Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US | ewellic.org

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