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The term "UCS" vs. the term "Unicode"

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@acm.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:01 +0900
To: www-i18n-comments@w3.org
Cc: cmsmcq@acm.org (C. M. Sperberg-McQueen)
Message-Id: <20020712010120.CBF0D1402@toro.w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>

This is a last call comment from C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (cmsmcq@acm.org) on
the Character Model for the World Wide Web 1.0
(http://www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-charmod-20020430/).

Semi-structured version of the comment:

Submitted by: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (cmsmcq@acm.org)
Submitted on behalf of (maybe empty): 
Comment type: editorial
Chapter/section the comment applies to: Overall
The comment will be visible to: public
Comment title: The term "UCS" vs. the term "Unicode"
Comment:
Sec. 1.1 says, inter alia, "In this document, Unicode is used as a 
synonym for the Universal Character Set."  I believe the term "UCS"
would be better, because it is clearer and less subject to 
misconstruction.  

It is clearer because the term "Unicode" may
reasonably be used to denote (a) the consortium of that name,
(b) the Univeral Character Set defined by ISO/IEC 10646 and by
the Unicode Standard, (c) the UCS taken together with the additional
rules defined by the Unicode Standard, which Unicode does NOT share
with ISO/IEC 10646, and (d) the Unicode Standard itself.  Despite
the explicit statement that in the character model spec the term
"Unicode" is used in sense (b), I suspect the common use, elsewhere,
of the term in senses (a), (d), and especially (c), will necessarily
color readers' perceptions of the meaning of the text.  

The term "UCS" is also less likely to convey to casual readers that it 
is really the Unicode Standard, not ISO/IEC 10646, which counts.  It is
true, as you have pointed out from time to time, that the Unicode
Consortium and the responsible ISO/IEC technical committee have 
worked well for some time now in keeping the two standards aligned.
I applaud that fact and the role some of you have individually played
in making it happen.  But I remember too the years in which the
two organizations threatened to burden the world with two different
and incompatible universal character sets, and the roles some of
you played then, and I am unwilling that any W3C specification should 
risk conveying the idea that if the two standards should diverge, the 
Web or the W3C would naturally side with one or the other party.

It would not be appropriate to use the term "ISO/IEC 10646" (or
just "10646" for short) to refer to the UCS.  It is also not 
appropriate to use the term "Unicode".

Please reconsider and use the neutral and unambiguous term "UCS".



Structured version of  the comment:

<lc-comment
  visibility="public" status="pending"
  decision="pending" impact="editorial">
  <originator email="cmsmcq@acm.org" represents="-"
      >C. M. Sperberg-McQueen</originator>
  <charmod-section 
    ></charmod-section>
  <title>The term "UCS" vs. the term "Unicode"</title>
  <description>
    <comment>
      <dated-link date="2002-07-12"
        >The term "UCS" vs. the term "Unicode"</dated-link>
      <para>Sec. 1.1 says, inter alia, "In this document, Unicode is used as a 
synonym for the Universal Character Set."  I believe the term "UCS"
would be better, because it is clearer and less subject to 
misconstruction.  

It is clearer because the term "Unicode" may
reasonably be used to denote (a) the consortium of that name,
(b) the Univeral Character Set defined by ISO/IEC 10646 and by
the Unicode Standard, (c) the UCS taken together with the additional
rules defined by the Unicode Standard, which Unicode does NOT share
with ISO/IEC 10646, and (d) the Unicode Standard itself.  Despite
the explicit statement that in the character model spec the term
"Unicode" is used in sense (b), I suspect the common use, elsewhere,
of the term in senses (a), (d), and especially (c), will necessarily
color readers' perceptions of the meaning of the text.  

The term "UCS" is also less likely to convey to casual readers that it 
is really the Unicode Standard, not ISO/IEC 10646, which counts.  It is
true, as you have pointed out from time to time, that the Unicode
Consortium and the responsible ISO/IEC technical committee have 
worked well for some time now in keeping the two standards aligned.
I applaud that fact and the role some of you have individually played
in making it happen.  But I remember too the years in which the
two organizations threatened to burden the world with two different
and incompatible universal character sets, and the roles some of
you played then, and I am unwilling that any W3C specification should 
risk conveying the idea that if the two standards should diverge, the 
Web or the W3C would naturally side with one or the other party.

It would not be appropriate to use the term "ISO/IEC 10646" (or
just "10646" for short) to refer to the UCS.  It is also not 
appropriate to use the term "Unicode".

Please reconsider and use the neutral and unambiguous term "UCS".
</para>
    </comment>
  </description>
</lc-comment>
Received on Thursday, 11 July 2002 21:01:22 GMT

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