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ISO ??? 10646

1991-08-29 09:59:48
Since this has an impact on people on this list, I am reposting it, 
without permission, but it has already been widely circulated on at 
least two other lists.

Note that this is not an official statement of what happened at the 
meeting, but some personal impressions by one person, so all of the 
usual disclaimers apply.

Two personal observations:
  (1) Note that the compaction method that was the basis for some of the 
WGs earlier planning is now gone.  It could, of course, reappear at some 
later stage, but, as of now...
  (2) I don't know enough details to be able to know, but opening up the 
C0 and C1 spaces may put that nice isomorphism of ISO 8859-1 and the 
first 256 entries in 10246 into danger also. 
  (3) The schedule given, and the three-month letter ballot period in 
particular, are fragile.  It takes only one national member body 
P-member of JTC1 to claim that they need additional time to review to 
extend that period to six months.  These changes are significant enough 
that I can't imagine a scenario in which two or three of them didn't 
make that request.
  (4) It is possible that this incorporates enough features and 
partitioning to make Unicode turn into a non-issue.  Again, I don't have 
nearly enough information to make a prediction.

This is information only.  If and when I have more information, I will 
post it unless the chair discourages that.  But what appears here is 
everything I know, so I'm not in a position to comment further or answer 

Date:         Tue, 27 Aug 1991 21:56:00 CET
From:         "J. W. van Wingen" <BUTPAA>
Subject:      SC2/WG2 in Geneva

Dear Friends
The meeting of SC2/WG2 in Geneva lasted from Monday to Friday, and even
then some people were prepared to continue up to Tuesday (because they
had to stay for the ECMA TC1 meeting on Wednesday). But I left, having
heard (and said) enough. There were about 23 people, among whose many
names well known to you, like Joe Becker, Asmus Freytag, Isai Scheinberg
Ed Hart. The atmosphere was constructive, they were just experts, not
representatives. I have as yet no text of what was resolved, but the
following may summarize the consensus:
1. Unified Han in Basic Multilingual Plane
2. C0 and C1 available for graphic characters
3. A diacritic is a character in itself, a combination of a diacritic
   with a letter may be rendered as a single graphic symbol, but is
   still two characters
4. ISO 10646 will be published as a multi-part standard, Part 1 General
   Structure and BMP, other planes in other parts
5. Compaction 1, 3, 5 deleted, normal use is 2 octet compaction
6. Code table for Latin script is to be reorganized, including all
   characters proposed by national bodies and consortia

Do not ask me to be more precise. Details have yet to be worked out in
a Second DIS, to be ready for the WG2 meeting of 7 Oct. in Paris, and
to be finalized there, so that SC2 can adopt a Resolution about it, to
have a 3-month letter ballot on it, vote starting Jan. 1992, if all
goes well. The Resolution of Comments WG2 meeting is planned end of May
in Korea. Then the final text goes to ISO for publication.

Then we'll have ISO 10646, (with which name the code tables even in the
Unicode publications will be identified), and discussion may start
whether we really want to pay for characters we never expect to use, but
for which we have to use extra bytes even with those which can be coded
with less. This I was thinking about, sitting at the Lake shore one
night, looking at the magnificent Geneva 5-star hotels where you can
have all things you never need, while paying for it, but which in some
way seem to make money.

Best regards, Johan van Wingen

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