Monday, February 29, 2016

Draft Unicode Emoji Enhancements

 [female runner image] Unicode emoji characters are specified by UTR #51, Unicode Emoji and its related data files. Now available for public review and comment are a proposed update of UTR #51, plus a draft of a related new document, UTS #52, Unicode Emoji Mechanisms.

UTS #52, Unicode Emoji Mechanisms provides a new way of representing customizations of Unicode emoji characters. The first specified customizations provide for flags for subdivisions of countries (such as Scotland or California), gender variants (such as female runners or males raising a hand), hair color variants (a red-haired dancer), and directional variants (pointing a hand or bicyclist to the right). Currently this is only a draft, but feedback is being solicited on a number of topics. From users of emoji, feedback would be useful on which variants are the highest priority, and whether any characters should be added or removed to the lists of characters that qualify for each variant. From implementers, feedback is needed on whether there are any technical problems in the customization mechanism itself, and whether that mechanism is sufficiently extensible for future types of customizations.

The proposed update UTR #51, Unicode Emoji describes two new mechanisms for controlling whether emoji characters appear as text (black and white) or with a colorful rendition, and clarifies some of the previous text. There is also a proposed narrowing of the definition of the sequences used for family groupings.

Feedback must be submitted through the associated Public Review Issues by May 1 for consideration at the 2016Q2 Unicode Technical Committee meeting.

PRI #319: UTR #51, Unicode Emoji
PRI #321: UTS #52, Unicode Emoji Mechanisms