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Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 19:19:57 +0800
From: Roy <>
Subject: Re: Re: Big5 "mostly" complete

On Sun, 18 Aug 2013 15:32:29 +0800, Rich Felker <> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 18, 2013 at 12:20:47PM +0800, Roy wrote:
>> Both Big5-UAO and Big5-HKSCS are needed for those Taiwan people and
>> Hong Kong people.
>> For Big5-UAO, there is some commonly used dingbats(for example "♡"
>> mark) and numeric representations(for example "①") are in Big5-UAO
>> but not in CP950.
>> and Big5-UAO is still being used not only in telnet BBS, but
>> also in  text data files(file lists/cue sheets) because of
>> not-supporting UTF-8 in applications(for example, Perl File-system
>> I/O in windows, CD-Rippers).
>> for Big5-HKSCS, it use used for storing commonly used Cantonese
>> ideographs (for example, "𨋢" means "lift" in Cantonese) in Hong
>> Kong.
> HKSCS is supported as of yesterday's commit. I'm aware that it's
> needed for representing Cantonese language in Big5, and that it's
> widely used on the web.
> What I'm not clear on is the necessity of UAO. Keep in mind that iconv
> is an API for information interchange: things like interpreting web
> content, email, old text files, etc. The fact that UAO exists is not
> alone reason to support it; it has to actually have usefulness in
> situations where the iconv interface should be used. If you want to
> see it included, this is what you need to convince us of:
> - That it's in widespread use in large volumes of existing data (on
>   the web, text files, etc.) or data that is being newly generated
>   (e.g. as a default encoding of popular mail software).

People are told *NOT* to publish file with Big5-UAO to the web(or say,  
people, even the creator of UAO, appeal to people that not to publish file  
with Big5-UAO to the web), but still there are some that's in archive  
format.(Like I said before, for example cue-sheet file of CD-ROM image,  
But for local data processing, UAO does facilitate file managing to  
windows users.

> - That it's necessary to represent linguistic content in languages
>   used in Taiwan, not just as a substitute for Unicode to represent
>   foreign languages.

It does, some Chinese ideographs are used as part of name, but not in  
CP950 mapping like "喆" and "堃".

> - That failure to support it would put musl's iconv in a worse
>   position of compatibility than other iconv implementations or
>   software-specific (e.g. in-browser) character set conversions.

Since people made Big5-UAO patch for libiconv and glibc(gconv)  
unofficially to meet their uses, if musl libc have an optional Big5-UAO  
mapping will be an advantage to Taiwan people.

> The fact that UAO does not even have a MIME type, and that, per web
> standards (, a MIME type of "Big5" is
> to be interpreted as essentially Big5-2003+HKSCS, leaves me doubting
> that UAO is in widespread use for information interchange.

Since UAO is used to be local encoding, MIME type does not apply here.
And it is not recommended to use UAO as information exchange *over  

> Mozilla seems to be the only browser that support it. I previously cited  
> a
> thread on the whatwg mailing list in which research was being
> conducted to determine what should constitute Big5, i.e. roughly what
> characters outside the old CP950 were needed for real websites, and
> UAO did not come up.

Since both Hong Kong and Taiwan government are moving forward to Unicode  
(for example HKSCS no longer provides new Big5 codepoints for new  
ideographs), the importance of using Big5 on *web* is decreasing.
But for local data processing, Big5-HKSCS and Big5-UAO have their own  
position and userbase which keeping them exist.

> If I'm wrong and just missing its importance, please fill me in. I'm
> not trying to be difficult, but if UAO is important, I want to see the
> reasons why.
> Rich

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