Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Announcing The Unicode® Standard, Version 15.0

[Nag Mundari image] Version 15.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available, including the core specification, annexes, and data files. This version adds 4,489 characters, bringing the total to 149,186 characters. These additions include two new scripts, for a total of 161 scripts, along with 20 new emoji characters, and 4,193 CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) ideographs. The new scripts and characters in Version 15.0 add support for modern language groups including:
  • Nag Mundari, a modern script used to write Mundari, a language spoken in India
  • A Kannada character used to write Konkani, Awadhi, and Havyaka Kannada in India
  • Kaktovik numerals, devised by speakers of Iñupiaq in Kaktovik, Alaska for the counting systems of the Inuit and Yupik languages
Among the popular symbol additions are 20 new emoji, including hair pick, maracas, jellyfish, khanda, and pink heart. For the full list of new emoji characters, see emoji additions for Unicode 15.0, and Emoji Counts. For a detailed description of support for emoji characters by the Unicode Standard, see UTS #51, Unicode Emoji.

[Image credit Noto Emoji]

Other symbol and notational additions include:
Support for other languages and scholarly work includes:
  • Kawi, a historical script found in Southeast Asia, used to write Old Javanese and other languages
  • Three additional characters for the Arabic script to support Quranic marks used in Turkey
  • Three Khojki characters found in handwritten and printed documents
  • Ten Devanagari characters used to represent auspicious signs found in inscriptions and manuscripts
  • Six Latin letters used in Malayalam transliteration
  • Sixty-three Cyrillic modifier letters used in phonetic transcription
Important chart font updates include:
  • A set of updated glyphs for Egyptian hieroglyphs, in addition to standardized variation sequences to support rotated glyphs found in texts
  • Improved glyphs for Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, which provide better support for Carrier and other languages
  • A new Wancho font, with improved and simplified shapes
Updates to the CJK blocks add:
  • 4,192 ideographs in the new CJK Unified Ideographs Extension H block
  • One ideograph in the CJK Unified Ideographs Extension C block
Unicode properties and specifications determine the behavior of text on computers and phones. The following six Unicode Standard Annexes and Technical Standards have noteworthy updates for Version 15.0:
  • UAX #9, Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm, amends the note in UAX9-C2 to emphasize the use of higher-level protocols to mitigate potential source code spoofing attacks.
  • UAX #31, Unicode Identifier and Pattern Syntax, provides more guidance on profiles for default identifiers, clarifies the use of default ignorable code points in identifiers, and discusses the relationship between Pattern_White_Space and bidirectional ordering issues in programming languages.
  • UAX #38, Unicode Han Database, adds the kAlternateTotalStrokes property. The kCihaiT property’s category was changed to Dictionary Indices, the kKangXi property was expanded, and Sections 3.0, 3.10, and 4.5 were added.
  • UTS #39, Unicode Security Mechanisms, changes the zero width joiner (ZWJ) and zero width non-joiner (ZWNJ) characters from Identifier_Status=Allowed to Identifier_Status=Restricted; they are therefore no longer allowed by the General Security Profile by default.
  • UAX #45, U-Source Ideographs, has records for new ideographs in its data file, “ExtH” was added as a new status, the status identifiers for the existing CJK Unified Ideographs blocks were improved, and Section 2.5 was added.
  • UTS #46, Unicode IDNA Compatibility Processing, clarified the edge case of the empty label in ToASCII and added documentation regarding the new IDNA derived property data files.

About the Unicode Standard

The Unicode Standard provides the basis for processing, storage and seamless data interchange of text data in any language in all modern software and information technology protocols. It provides a uniform, universal architecture and encoding for all languages of the world, with over 140,000 characters currently encoded.

Unicode is required by modern standards such as XML, Java, C#, ECMAScript (JavaScript), LDAP, CORBA 3.0, WML, etc., and is the official way to implement ISO/IEC 10646. It is a fundamental component of all modern software.

For additional information on the Unicode Standard, please visit https://home.unicode.org/.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard and related globalization standards. The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations, many in the computer and information processing industry. For a complete member list go to https://home.unicode.org/membership/members/.
For more information, please contact the Unicode Consortium https://home.unicode.org/connect/contact-unicode/.

Over 144,000 characters are available for adoption to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages