Re: National characters...again

Richard L. Goerwitz (
Thu, 2 Feb 1995 23:50:43 +0100

Regarding Unicode's purported need for additional localization

>The Unicode standard says such information is necessary if one wishes
>to perform in a plain-text encoding environment the following:
> (1) culturally correct sorting and
> (2) high-quality typographic formatting
>Show me where in HTML or in HTML applications that either of these
>requirements exist and I will agree with you that a language tag is
>needed; however, I think that you are going to have a difficult time
>showing where these are actually required, in which case your argument
>(and others of the same ilk) is simply a red herring.

Are you sure you want to shut out the possibility that anyone might
want to handle text in one language differently from text in another?
It seems short-sighted to exclude this possibility.

Just for example, let us suppose we have a bibiliography of work on
an aspect of Asian history that includes books and articles written
in Japanese, Chinese, and several other western languages. Although
Japanese and Chinese have been largely unified in Unicode, the actual
rendering is slightly different, ideally. So we want langauge tags
to tell us which langauge, Chinese or Japanese, we are in.

It's really not too hard to come up with such examples. Do we really
want to shut routine processes like this out of HTML? Asian people
are already complaining at Unicode precisely because, in westerners'
hands, things are going to get muddled. It would be nice to prove
them wrong by defining HTML as it should be defined - with LANG and

This is just my opinion, of course. Take it for what, if anything, it
is worth.

Richard Goerwitz