Version 8.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available. It includes 41 new emoji characters (including five modifiers for diversity), 5,771 new ideographs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, the new Georgian lari currency symbol, and 86 lowercase Cherokee syllables. It also adds letters to existing scripts to support Arwi (the Tamil language written in the Arabic script), the Ik language in Uganda, Kulango in the Côte d’Ivoire, and other languages of Africa. In total, this version adds 7,716 new characters and six new scripts. For full details on Version 8.0, see Unicode 8.0.
The first version of Unicode Technical Report #51, Unicode Emoji is being released at the same time. That document describes the new emoji characters. It provides design guidelines and data for improving emoji interoperability across platforms, gives background information about emoji symbols, and describes how they are selected for inclusion in the Unicode Standard. The data is used to support emoji characters in implementations, specifying which symbols are commonly displayed as emoji, how the new skin-tone modifiers work, and how composite emoji can be formed with joiners. The Unicode website now supplies charts of emoji characters, showing vendor variations and providing other useful information.
Some of the changes in Version 8.0 and associated Unicode technical standards may require modifications in implementations. For more information, see Unicode 8.0 Migration and the migration sections of UTS #10, UTS #39, and UTS #46.
The Unicode® Consortium announced the start of the beta review for Unicode 8.0.0, which is scheduled for release in June, 2015. All beta feedback must be submitted by April 27, 2015.
Unicode 8.0.0 comprises several changes which require careful migration in implementations, including the conversion of Cherokee to a bicameral script, a different encoding model for New Tai Lue, and additional character repertoire. Implementers need to change code and check assumptions regarding case mappings, New Tai Lue syllables, Han character ranges, and confusables. Character additions in Unicode 8.0.0 include emoji symbol modifiers for implementing skin tone diversity, other emoji symbols, a large collection of CJK unified ideographs, a new currency sign for the Georgian lari, and six new scripts. For more information on emoji in Unicode 8.0.0, see the associated draft Unicode Emoji report.
Please review the documentation, adjust code, test the data files, and report errors and other issues to the Unicode Consortium by April 27, 2015. Feedback instructions are on the beta page.
The Unicode 7.0 core specification is now available in paperback book form.
Responding to requests, the editorial committee has created a pair of modestly-priced print-on-demand volumes that contain the complete text of the core specification of Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard.
The form-factor in this edition has been changed from US letter to 6×9 inch US trade paperback size, making the two volumes more compact than previous versions. The two volumes may be purchased separately or together. The cost for the pair is US$16.27, plus postage and applicable taxes. Please visit http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/unicode to order.
Note that these volumes do not include the Version 7.0 code charts, nor do they include the Version 7.0 Standard Annexes and Unicode Character Database, all of which are available only on the Unicode website.
Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available, adding 2,834 new characters. This latest version adds the new currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat, approximately 250 emoji (pictographic symbols), many other symbols, and 23 new lesser-used and historic scripts, as well as character additions to many existing scripts. These additions extend support for written languages of North America, China, India, other Asian countries, and Africa. See the link above for full details.
Most of the new emoji characters derive from characters in long-standing and widespread use in Wingdings and Webdings fonts.
Major enhancements were made to the Indic script properties. New property values were added to enable a more algorithmic approach to rendering Indic scripts. These include properties for joining behavior, new classes for numbers, and a further division of the syllabic categories of viramas and rephas. With these enhancements, the default rendering for newly added Indic scripts can be significantly improved.
Unicode character properties were extended to the new characters. The old characters have enhancements to Script and Alphabetic properties, and casing and line-breaking behavior. There were also nearly 3,000 new Cantonese pronunciation entries, as well as new or clarified stability policies for promoting interoperable implementations.
Two other important Unicode specifications are maintained in synchrony with the Unicode Standard, and have updates for Version 7.0. These will be released at the same time:
Unicode CLDR 25 has been released, providing an update to the key building blocks for software supporting the world’s languages. This data is used by a wide spectrum of companies for their software internationalization and localization, adapting software to the conventions of different languages for such common software tasks.
Unicode CLDR 25 focused primarily on improvements to the LDML structure and tools, and on consistency of data. There are many smaller data fixes, but there was no general data submission. Changes include the following:
- New rules for plural ranges (1-2 liters) for 72 locales, plurals for 2 locales, and ordinals for 18 locales.
- Better locale matching with fallbacks for languages, default languages for continents and subcontinents, and default scripts for more languages.
- Two new locales: West Frisian (fy) and Uyghur (ug).
- Two new metazones: Mexico_Pacific and Mexico_Northwest
- Updated zh pinyin & zhuyin collations and translators for Unicode 6.3 kMandarin data
- Updated keyboard layout data for OSX, Windows and others.
This version contains data for 238 languages and 259 territories—740 locales in all.
Details are provided in http://cldr.unicode.org/index/downloads/cldr-25, along with a detailed Migration section.
The Unicode Consortium has released CLDR 23, which contains data for 215 languages and 227 territories—654 locales. This release focused primarily on improvements to the LDML structure and tools, and on consistency of data. It includes substantially improved support for non-Gregorian calendars (such as the Japanese Imperial calendar used extensively in Japan). The data and structure has also been modified to easily permit changing between 12 and 24 hour formats, and between 2 digit and 4 digit years. The new Unicode character is used for the Turkish Lira, and information is provided for currencies that round to 5 cents (or other subunits) in cash transactions. For most languages that use non-Latin scripts, characters in the language’s script now collate before those in other scripts (including A-Z). Language-specific letter-casing changes (Lower, Upper, Title) have been added for Azerbaijani, Greek, Lithuanian, and Turkish. Keyboard data has also been updated for Android. Also, as of this release, the LDML specification is split into multiple parts, each focusing on a particular area.
A new FAQ page devoted to the topic of private-use characters, noncharacters, and sentinels has been posted on the Unicode web site. This FAQ aims to clear up confusion about whether noncharacters are permitted in Unicode text, and how they differ from ordinary private-use characters. The recently published Corrigendum #9: Clarification About Noncharacters makes it clear that noncharacters are permitted even in interchange, and the new FAQ page addresses some of the fine points about their usage and about differences from other types of Unicode code points. The brief mentions of noncharacters in other FAQ pages have also been updated accordingly.
Are you unclear about what Unicode “noncharacters” even are? The new FAQ page also answers basic questions about noncharacters and private-use characters, and provides a bit of history about how they came to be part of the Unicode Standard.
The Unicode Consortium announced today that the CLDR Survey Tool is open for beta testing. CLDR provides key building blocks for software to support the world’s languages, with the largest and most extensive standard repository of locale data available. The survey tool is an online tool used by organizations and individuals to contribute data to this repository, and to vote on alternative contributions.
The survey tool has undergone substantial revision, with dramatic improvements in performance and usability. The Unicode Consortium would appreciate people trying out the tool so that they can identify any remaining problems before we start data submission (currently scheduled for April 4). More information.
The Unicode CLDR 21.0.1 maintenance release is also now available. See details.
The next major release is CLDR 22, scheduled for late August. The CLDR 22 release does involve general data submission, which will begin soon. See the latest schedule.