Position Statement for W3C I18N Workshop

Asmus Freytag, Unicode Liaison

As Unicode Liaison I am interested in the interplay between character encoding and web internationalization. During the past five years, several key elements of the Unicode Standard or Technical reports, from Normalization and decompositions, to assignment of new characters based on their suitability of use with markup have been strongly influenced by the needs of the W3C. The work of the W3C on its character model, with input of many Unicode experts, has gone a long way towards nailing down the role of plain text (character codes) as backbone of the web architecture. As Unicode and the collection of W3C recommendations as a whole are works in progress, any of the answers arrived at regarding the relation and interplay between Unicode and web standards can only be first steps and will see future refinements in lights of additional requirements -- be it because of the specific needs of scripts yet to be added to the Unicode Standard, or because of new types of recommendations for the web.