(off-topic?)Re: XML character sets: a proposal

On Sat, 14 Sep 1996 bbauma1@cs.umbc.edu wrote:

> Of course one problem with the private use area is that its private.

Prof. Hsieh from Academica Sinica is presenting a paper on handling
variant Han ideographs and missing characters at the China Korea Japan
Document Processing (CJK DOCP) meeting in a weeks time.  I don't know the
details yet, but I think it may build on Prof Eiji Matsuoka's comments
about using standard national ideograph books in CJK to reference in SDATA 
entities for missing characters.

(CJK DOCP has a liason with WG8 through Dr Komachi of Japanese Business
Machines Association.) I am hosting this meeting this year, and I will
send out details to this list.  

> UTF-8 is particularly offensive with its blatant western bias. 

As far as I know, (apart from Wired, which didn't even credit who these
outraged Asians were as far as I can remember) the difficulties people
have with Unicode tends to be not so much this encoding or that, but rather
that for Han ideographs it follows radical order and not the order in
any existing national character set order. But I suppose if it had it
would be criticised for being "Japanese" or "Taiwanese" or "PRC" biased!

Also, the round-trip rule and unification makes it impossible to specify
other variants in the code.  However, when SGML is added, who cares? All
the extra information can be contained in markup: it is just a matter of
setting agreed semantics of the markup. 

Unicode seems better than anything before, especially w.r.t. making a
character catalog.  (People may be away of PRC's standard GB13000 which
adds all the extra Han ideographs from ISO 10646 onto the previous
national standard: retaining backwards compatibility with previous
character set.)

And the issue of user-defined characters is irrelevent unless there is a
mechanism for accessing their glyphs over the Web.  Until there is, there is
no point trying to allow for them in XML.

Rick Jelliffe            http://www.allette.com.au/allette/ricko
                         email: ricko@allette.com.au
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