Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Adopt-A-Character Grant to Support Maya Inscriptional Hieroglyphs

Image from Maya site of Yaxchilan, Mexico The Adopt-a-Character Program is awarding the third in a series of grants to support the encoding of Maya hieroglyphs and their study by researchers. This grant is a continuation of earlier AAC-funded efforts to incorporate information from Maya codices into a multidimensional database. The work in 2019 will focus on hieroglyphs inscribed on monuments, and will fund work to advance the understanding of the corpus of inscriptional hieroglyphs by including this dataset in the multidimensional database developed for the Maya script. This work will further understanding of an appropriate encoding model for these complex hieroglyphs and will also provide support for new research work on the Maya script through the updated database.

The work will be led by Dr. Gabrielle Vail (Research Labs of Archaeology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Anthropology Program, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg) under the direction of Dr. Deborah Anderson (SEI, UC Berkeley).

The image included in this announcement is text from a lintel from the Maya site of Yaxchilan, Mexico. Photo by Gabrielle Vail.

Over 136,000 characters are available for adoption, to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Emoji 12.0 Now Available for Adoption

The latest Unicode Emoji can now be adopted. See Emoji Recently Added, v12.0 for a full list.




ice cube

ringed planet


You can adopt one of the new emoji yourself, or for friends, family, and so on. While the new emoji will appear on mobile phones and other devices later this year, you can adopt them right now! Gold level adoptions are special — if you adopt an emoji at the gold level, you are guaranteed to be the only sponsor at that level.

Your sponsorship helps to support the Unicode Consortium’s mission to enable a growing number of languages to be used on computers. The Adopt-a-Character program funds work on digitally disadvantaged languages, both modern and historic. In 2018 and 2019 the program awarded grants to support work on improved keyboard layouts, additional work on Mayan hieroglyphs, and more historic Indic scripts, among others.

You can now also adopt any of the nearly 500 other characters in Unicode 12.0, and of course you can adopt from any of the over 136,000 characters already in Unicode.

For more information on the program, or to adopt a character, see the Adopt-a-Character Page.

Over 136,000 characters are available for adoption to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Announcing The Unicode® Standard, Version 12.0

Medinet Habu Temple Ceiling (Wikipedia)_with Text Version 12.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available, including the core specification, annexes, and data files. This version adds 554 characters, for a total of 137,929 characters. These additions include four new scripts, for a total of 150 scripts, as well as 61 new emoji characters.

The new scripts and characters in Version 12.0 add support for lesser-used languages and unique written requirements worldwide, including:
  • Elymaic, historically used to write Achaemenid Aramaic in the southwestern portion of modern-day Iran
  • Nandinagari, historically used to write Sanskrit and Kannada in southern India
  • Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong, used to write modern White Hmong and Green Hmong languages in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Australia, Canada, and the United States
  • Wancho, used to write the modern Wancho language in India, Myanmar, and Bhutan
Additional support for lesser-used languages and scholarly work was extended worldwide, including:
  • Miao script additions to write several Miao and Yi dialects in China
  • Hiragana and Katakana small letters, used to write archaic Japanese
  • Tamil historic fractions and symbols, used in South India
  • Lao letters used to write Pali
  • Latin letters used in Egyptological and Ugaritic transliteration
  • Hieroglyph format controls, enabling full formatting of quadrats for Egyptian Hieroglyphs
The Egyptian temple ceiling painting shown above (from the Wikipedia article on Medinet Habu) includes a line of hieroglyphic text. That exact text is rendered again below the painting, represented in Unicode plain text, illustrating the use of the new hieroglyphic format controls, as well as cartouche brackets and directional controls. The example was developed by Andrew Glass, based on Microsoft’s Segoe UI Historic font, with outlines designed by James P. Allen.

Popular symbol additions include:
  • 61 emoji characters, including several new emoji for accessibility
  • Marca registrada sign
  • Heterodox and fairy chess symbols
For the full list of new emoji characters, see emoji additions for Unicode 12.0, and Emoji Counts. For a detailed description of support for emoji characters by the Unicode Standard, see UTS #51, Unicode Emoji. Version 12.0 also includes additional guidelines on gender and skin tone included in UTS #51 and data files.

Also in Version 12.0, the following Unicode Standard Annexes have notable modifications, often in coordination with changes to character properties. In particular, there are changes to:
Three other important Unicode specifications have been updated for Version 12.0:
The Unicode Standard is the foundation for all modern software and communications around the world, including operating systems, browsers, laptops, and smart phones—plus the Internet and Web (URLs, HTML, XML, CSS, JSON, etc.). The Unicode Standard, its associated standards, and data form the foundation for CLDR and ICU releases.

Over 130,000 characters are available for adoption to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Unicode CLDR 35 alpha available for testing

The alpha version of Unicode CLDR 35 is available for testing. The alpha period lasts until the beta release on March 13, which will include updates to the LDML spec. The final release is expected on March 27.

Unicode CLDR 35 provides an update to the key building blocks for software supporting the world's languages. CLDR data is used by all major software systems for their software internationalization and localization, adapting software to the conventions of different languages for such common software tasks.

CLDR 35 included a limited Survey Tool data collection phase, adding approximately 54 thousand new translated fields:

Basic coverage New languages at Basic coverage: Cebuano (ceb), Hausa (ha), Igbo (ig), Yoruba (yo)
Modern coverage Languages Somali (so) and Javanese (jv) has additional coverage from Moderate to Modern
Emoji 12.0 Names and annotations (search keywords) for 90+ new emoji;
Also includes fixes for previous names & keywords
Collation Collation updated to Unicode 12.0, including new emoji;
Japanese single-character (ligature) era names added to collation and search collation
Measurement units  23 additional units
Date formats Two additional flexible formats, and 20 new interval formats
Japanese calendar Updated to Gannen (元年) number format
Region Names Many names updated to local equivalents of  “North Macedonia” (MK) and “Eswatini” (SZ)

A dot release, version 35.1 is expected in April, with further changes for Japanese calendar.

For details, see Detailed Specification Changes, Detailed Structure Changes, Detailed Data Changes, Growth.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Unicode Emoji 12.0 — final for 2019

emoji 12 image Emoji 12.0 data has been released, with 59 new emoji such as:

mechanical arm image
mechanical arm
deaf person image
deaf person
people holding hands image
people holding hands
otter image
waffle image
ice cube image
ice cube
ringed planet image
ringed planet
drop of blood image
drop of blood

With 171 variants for gender and skin tone, this makes a total of 230 emoji including variants, such as:

The new emoji are listed in Emoji Recently Added v12.0, with sample images. These images are just samples: vendors for mobile phones, PCs, and web platforms will typically use images that fit their overall emoji designs. In particular, the Emoji Ordering v12.0 chart shows how the new emoji sort compared to the others, with new emoji marked with rounded-rectangles. The other Emoji Charts for Version 12.0 have been updated to show the emoji.

The new emoji typically start showing up on mobile phones in September/October — some platforms may release them earlier. The new emoji will soon be available for adoption to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages.

For implementers:
  1. The new Emoji 12.0 set includes the data needed for vendors to begin working on their emoji fonts and code ahead of the release of Unicode 12.0, scheduled for March 5.
  2. The emoji specification (UTS #51) has additional guidelines on gender and skin tone, and other clarifications. The definitions in UTS #51 and data files and have been enhanced to be more consistent and useful. For details, see Modifications
  3. The people holding hands emoji now have four combinations of gender and all the various combinations of skin tones, for a total of 71 new variants. Implementations may optionally support skin-tone combinations for other multi-person emoji.
  4. The CLDR names and search keywords for the new emoji characters in over 80 languages, and the sort order for emoji, will be finalized by the end of March with the release of CLDR v35.

Over 130,000 characters are available for adoption, to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages.