Most of this is personal speculation and bias, not any claim to
knowledge or crystal-ball-ownership.
John, when you say "unencoded 10646", do you mean the 16-bit form or
the 32-bit form? (I have no idea whether the other 16 bits will ever
be used, but I'm just wondering which one you were referring to.)
SC2 claims this is a 32 bit standard. Until and unless they change
that, it is what I was referring to. If one tries the 16 bit form, and
the other "rows" are ever used, it is nasty transition time. As far as
I'm concerned, the people who talk about 10646 as 16 bit are really
talking about Unicode, or the Unicode subset of 10646. Nothing wrong
with that, but we should be clear about it.
Also, I don't understand why we would be doomed to a second transition
to unencoded 10646. Are you assuming that there will be heavy traffic
in non-ASCII text between, say, Japan and the US? If there isn't much
of this kind of traffic, surely people could put up with the
Also, it's not clear to me whether the Japanese will switch from the
current 2022-based scheme to something else for their Japanese
messages. Similary, it's not clear whether the Americans will switch
from ASCII to something else for English messages. Do you think the
It seems to me that you are making a series of closely-related
assumptions here. The main one is that, within a group of people
communicating in a particular language (English within the US, Japanese
within Japan, even conversations *in* Japanese between people in Japan
and Japanese-speakers in the US), we are never going to see 10646 used
and, hence, what we need is some (possibly extraordinary) mechanism to
handling an "occasional Japanese character" now and then.
Well, if that is the case, it happens that I agree with you. But
what I've been hearing on this list -- a bit recently and a very great
deal a year ago -- are variations on the theme of "now we have 10646,
and it is universal, let's try to move quickly to it and drop the use of
all 'local' character sets (like ASCII) in Internet mail". If that is
the intent, then a system that rewards some languages and penalizes
others is a pretty terrible idea.