[Air-L] Information wants to be ASCII or Unicode? Tibetan-written information cannot be ASCII anyway.

Joseph Reagle reagle at mit.edu
Fri Jul 17 05:50:25 PDT 2009

On Thursday 16 July 2009, Han-Teng Liao (OII) wrote:
> ask.  We (internet researchers) need empirical research to see why and 
> how the Unicode support is implemented in various projects.  

I did not appreciate this point, and it is an interesting one. I haven't followed the literature that takes on standardization as a business or social science concern and so don't know if people have focused on Unicode at all. (I'm thinking of continuations of Cargill's "Open Systems Standardization" and Agre's course "Institutional Aspects of Computing" from the 90s.)

> Imagine Wikipedia project does not manage to implement the Unicode when 
> it is hard. 

As an aside, chapter 6 of Andrew Lih's "The Wikipedia Revolution" addresses the extremely clever way that Wikimedia translates between Chinese writing systems, also:

> I hope we are debating on "Information wants to be ASCII" 

This issue was also a big one at Project Gutenberg, which I touch upon in my dissertation, also:

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