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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
 
   Date:         Wed, 21 Oct 1992 17:26:02 CDT
   From: [log in to unmask]
 
   I have been reading the comments, replies and counter-replies about
   IPA and 10646 for some weeks now, and believe that very many half-truths
   and probably some untruths are being propounded.
 
And I see you are adding a few half-truths and untruths to the fray.
 
   1.  There is NO definition of a 'character' in 10646, and SC2/WG2 will
       admit that they do not know what it is!  SC18/WG8 has been asking for a
       definition for some time to delineate between 'glyph' and 'character'.
 
That isn't true.  It is defined in section 4.6:
 
  "A member of a set of elements used for the organisation, control, or
   representation of data."
 
I suppose you want more meat, eh?
 
   2.  10646 is no more than yet another interim standard.
 
Maybe, but I bet someone said EBCDIC was only an interim standard too.
Whose crystal ball are you using anyway?  I'd like to know:  maybe it can
also tell us how many coal miners are going to be working in the UK next
year.
 
       It may contain the elements that allow for development of a
       standard with a long life, but 10646 certainly isn't that stnadard.
 
Let's put it this way.  It won't do very well in the vacuum that currently
surrounds it.  More standards are needed to augment its usage.  But that
doesn't invalidate it.
 
   3.  If it is a character standard, why are any of the ligatures 'fi' 'fl'
       etc included -- the 'fi'/'fl' ligatures are purely a typographic
       convenience.
 
Because enough P-members with votes wanted them.  [Sure, I agree its stupid,
but, then, who am I to say?]
 
   4.  Agreed the arabic presentation forms have been moved to a separate
       section,  but why are they there at all?  They are only required
       when outputting to a scripting device, and have no other value.
 
Ditto above.  [Also, backward compatibility with certain, shall we say, less
than intelligent implementations of Arabic demanded them.]
 
   5.  Where are all the Hangul sylables?  Great I can write using the basic
       alphabet, but including only half the sylables is nothing short
       of a waste of time.
 
[IMHO *no* - read that as 0, null, zippo, not any, nihil - Hangul syllables
should be in the standard.  But, if for no other reason, backward compatibility
with KSC5601 demanded including at least 2350 of them.  Hangul syllables are
just ligatures.]
 
   6.  The Japanese have accepted 10646 as an international standard, but have
       forbidden its use within Japan!  Great, where is the standard now?
 
Oh?  Why did 10 Japanese companies recently introduce Kanji GO Penpoint running
10646 UCS2?
 
   7.  I cannot use 10646 to produce a single technical article without
       using SGML entities for the Math characters that are missing!  SC18/WG8
       supplied a list of 300 math/chem characters that are missing (but are
       included in TR9573).  The first time the list was supplied, SC2/WG2
       decided to ignore it!  The second time it was sent, they decided
       to ignore it, but this time to tell WG8 that they would ignore it!
       They also decided not to give any reason, as that would generate
       discussion, and they have decided not to discuss anything any longer!
 
OK, this is a good gripe.  But a few million Burmese, Ethiopians, Tibetans,
Sinhalese, Cambodians, and Mongolians are probably also griped because none
of their scripts are present.  They will be, eventually.  Everything takes
time.
 
   Readers will no doubt appreciate that I feel strongly about the 'cock-up'
   that is 10646.
 
Do you really mean 'cock-up' or 'cook-up'.  Yes, it is a venerable stew,
which has simmered long enough.  Lets chew on it a while before deciding
whether to chuck it up.  You apparently aren't ready for new tastes.
 
Good Hunting, er, Cooking :-),
 
Glenn Adams