Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Announcing The Unicode® Standard, Version 15.1

Version 15.1 of the Unicode Standard is now available. This minor version update includes updated code charts, data files and annexes. The core specification is unchanged from Unicode Version 15.0.

This version adds 627 characters, bringing the total number of characters to 149,813. The additions include 622 CJK unified ideographs in a new block, CJK Unified Ideographs Extension I. These new ideographs are urgently needed in China for use in public service databases, and are expected to be included in a forthcoming amendment to China’s GB 18030-2022 standard. The other new characters are five ideographic description characters that enhance the ability to describe rare or not-yet-encoded CJK ideographs.

There are six completely new emoji, such as for phoenix and lime and (finally) an edible mushroom. For 108 people emoji, you can now switch the direction that they are facing (for example, person walking facing right versus facing left).

Security-related updates have been made to UAX #9, Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm and UAX #31, Unicode Identifiers and Syntax along with updates to UTS #39, Unicode Security Mechanisms. These updates complement the release of a new Unicode Technical Standard, UTS #55, Unicode Source Code Handling.

The new characters are limited to three blocks, and the code charts for several other blocks have changed. The most significant change to charts is for the CJK Unified Ideographs, CJK Unified Ideographs Extension A and CJK Unified Ideographs Extension B blocks with the addition of representative glyphs and source references for over 24,000 KP-source (North Korea) ideographs. There are also many other glyph corrections and improvements—see the 15.1 delta code charts for details.

Significant updates have been made to UAX #14, Unicode Line Breaking Algorithm and UAX #29, Unicode Text Segmentation adding better support for scripts of South and Southeast Asia, including grapheme cluster support for aksaras and consonant conjuncts, and line breaking at orthographic syllable boundaries.

For complete details on Unicode Version 15.1, see https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode15.1.0/.

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