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   Re: ISO 10646 vs. Unicode in XML specs

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  • From: "Paul W. Abrahams" <abrahams@valinet.com>
  • To: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
  • Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2000 13:53:38 -0400

John Cowan wrote:

> On Fri, 28 Jul 2000, Paul W. Abrahams wrote:
> > Were I writing
> > an XML-related spec, how would I decide which standard to
> > refer to?   Why don't all specs refer to Unicode rather than
> > to ISO/IEC 10646?
> ISO 10646 is an international standard, whereas Unicode is a
> corporate standard like XML itself.  International standards have
> wider acceptance and better stability in general, though in this
> particular case the distinction is moot.  Therefore, the international
> standard is referred to when possible.
> However, distinctions between different groups of characters, such as
> alphabetic characters vs. ideographic ones, letters in general vs.
> symbols, and compatibility characters vs. the rest are made only by
> Unicode.

The XML 1.0 spec actually has references both to Unicode and to ISO 10646.
Given the exact correspondence between them, would anything be broken as far
as you know if all references to ISO 10646 within the XML 1.0 spec were to be
replaced by references to Unicode?    In other words, is there any technical
reason at all why ISO 10646 was chosen over Unicode as the defining document
for character sets, or was it purely a political decision?

Paul Abrahams


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