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Re: location of UnicodeData.txt

On Thu, Nov 28, 2002 at 07:02:07PM +0100, Emile van Bergen wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 28, 2002 at 11:47:52AM -0600, John Hasler wrote:
> > I'm arguing that the _creation_ _of_ _that_ _table_
> > involved no creativity, not that the invention of Unicode didn't.
> Well, so you say that if I write a novel, all my creativity is in the
> abstract idea; putting the words down involved no extra creativity; thus
> the sequence of words cannot be copyrighted?

I don't think I would follow you that far, but I do agree that saying
"it's just a table of data" is no more meaningful than saying "it's
just a sequence of characters".  The nature of the data is relevant.

In this case, the data consists of two main components:
  - A mapping of character codes to character names
  - A list of attributes for each character
Both of these components were carefully designed, with decisions that
involve efficiency tradeoffs (use vs. compression vs. conversion) and
that affect the usefulness of the result.  Some of the decisions are
still controversial.  This data wasn't found engraved on some rock,
and it's not a collection of pre-existing facts, it was created.

> > Is it possible to create other Unicode tables that serve the same purpose
> > as that one and differ from it non-trivially?
> Good question. Under your reasoning, merely writing the list down from
> the unicode spec, possibly using | as separators instead of :, should do
> the trick.

Note that this file _is_ part of the unicode spec.  As far as I know the
character attributes are defined nowhere else.  So "writing the list down
from the unicode spec" means copying the file.

Richard Braakman

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