Unicode 6.3 just came out, and it's [pretty much all] about us, and [a little bit] about me!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/10/07, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/10/07/10454485.aspx

The Unicode Consortium's Unicode Technical Committee released version 6.3 of The Unicode Standard.

And not to toot our own horn, it's [pretty much all] about us, and [a little bit] about me!

Allow me to explain.

Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.

You might be unfamiliar with UAX #9: Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm and how complicated it has become over the years.

Or maybe you've been following it for years, because you own your company's implementation of it in a product you're shipping.

For many years, the UBA had been pretty stable, with just minor tweaks.

But I had an idea about brackets and how we could improve the handling of them.

The effort grew beyond what I could do on my own; we needed developers and testers to change the the very fabric of our support.

Gilead was very encouraging, and we started trying out tweaks in.Uniscribe and DWrite and Internet Explorer.

Nobody was sure this was going to happen, but everyone was hopeful.

Microsoft Word was already doing this work and nobody knew. So was Outlook. But it improved the confidence everyone had.

So we submitted a change request to the UBA, as an optional enhancement to improve bracket handling in Bidi scenarios. 😏;-)

It was tweaked by the Bidi experts in Unicode, and five new control characters were added to help improve things.

And the most significant change to the UBA in years was now something everyone could use!

Many of the situations that would once have led to bugs were now being handled properly. Automatically.

Most of the real work was done by others; all I can take credit for was for having a goodgreat idea and convincing a bunch of other people it was worth doing.

Influence without authority? Program Management at its best!

And in end, it is summed up in Announcing The Unicode Standard, Version 6.3. And it was an honor to be a small part of it....

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2013/10/24 It *was* only a little bit about me, but you can't claim I wasn't involved at all!

2013/10/16 ECMA added i18n support to ECMAScript, and they finally got it into IE11!

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