Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Unicode 15.1 Beta Review Open

[image] The beta review period for Unicode 15.1 has started, and is open until July 4, 2023. The beta is intended primarily for review of character property data and changes to algorithm specifications (Unicode Standard Annexes).

Normally at this phase of a release, the character repertoire is considered stable and very unlikely to change. Also, the plan for Unicode 15.1 had been for a minor release with only a very limited set of new characters.

Recent developments have led to a tentative change in those plans, however.

China has a very urgent need for encoding of certain CJK ideographs used in public services databases. To accommodate this urgent need, the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) decided at its April 2023 meeting to encode 603 new characters in Unicode 15.1 as CJK Unified Ideographs Extension I. This new block is included in the delta charts for the Unicode 15.1 beta. However, inclusion of these characters in Unicode 15.1 is contingent on support for this addition from China, and on support for this addition in the corresponding ISO/IEC 10646 standard from ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2 at their upcoming meeting in June. While support for the new block is anticipated, there is a small chance that minor changes to this repertoire will be made after the beta, or that UTC will pull this block entirely from the 15.1 release.

Several of the Unicode Standard Annexes have significant modifications and associated data changes for version 15.1. For example, UAX #14, Unicode Line Breaking Algorithm has significant enhancements to support line breaking at orthographic syllable boundaries in several South and Southeast Asian scripts. Also, in conjunction with the parallel development of a new standard, UTS #55, Unicode Source Code Handling (see Public Review Issue #474), there are significant revisions to UAX #31, Unicode Identifiers and Syntax that will provide better specifications and guidance related to security, and also improved guidance for applications that define identifier systems using Unicode.

While draft content for the beta has been published as of May 23rd, the work groups preparing updates to the content could continue to make changes to data or specs during the Beta review period. Any substantive changes for the beta will be frozen by June 5th.

Please review the documentation, adjust your code, test the data files, and report errors and other issues to the Unicode Consortium by July 4, 2023. The review period will only be for six weeks, so prompt feedback is appreciated. Feedback instructions are on the beta page.

See https://www.unicode.org/versions/beta-15.1.0.html for more information about testing and providing feedback on the 15.1.0 beta.

See https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode15.1.0/ for the current draft summary of Unicode Version 15.1.0.

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