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Re: [ddlm-group] Recommended character set and use restrictions. .


On Monday, June 21, 2010 10:28 AM, David Brown wrote:
>I can see the advantages of using Unicode in data values where one may
>wish to render text is some non-ascii formmat, but is there any reason
>why data names should not be restricted (at least for the forseeable
>future) to ASCII characters?  These names are assigned by COMCIFS and
>we are in no real danger of running out of ASCII data names.  One day
>we may need to write our dictionaries in Arabic, but I doubt that any
>of us will be around wheb that happens.  If we only allowed non-ASCII
>characters in delimited strings we would meet all the needs of the
>community for many years to come, and save ourselves a lot of grief
>trying to sort out which code points to allow.

That's a fair point.  I observe, though, that COMCIFS controls data names only in the official dictionaries it maintains, not in local dictionaries or other third-party dictionaries.  It appears to be parties maintaining such dictionaries that have the most potential benefit from an expanded character repertoire for data names.  Additionally, general users might receive a small benefit from having a larger character repertoire available for use in data block codes.

Having come late to the party, I hadn't before considered whether there was a real use case for general Unicode data names, etc..  It was already in the first spec draft I saw.  If there is no persuasive use case for it then I don't have any objection to restricting use of non-ASCII characters to within the bounds of one of the multitude of quoted string syntaxes.  That would be the conservative choice, suitable to be relaxed later if need be.


John
--
John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
Department of Structural Biology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


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