OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

office-formula message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: It's okay to use UNICODE name as a standard spreadsheet function

We have discussed a function UNICODE, which takes a character and returns its Unicode/ISO 10646 numeric value.  E.G., UNICODE(" ") is 32, and UNICODE("π") {that's pi} is 960 (U+03C0).  This is the code point IGNORING any encoding (UTF-8, UTF-7, whatever).

I just got an email from the Unicode Consortium, below.  They say there is no problem naming a function "UNICODE".  Since Gnumeric already does this, I'm of a mind to continue the practice (and with a corresponding UNICHAR).  That means there's a corresponding UNICHAR.

The main alternative would be to name this function "ICODE" (for "International Code"), which would produce a corresponding "ICHAR".    An advantage of this would be to emphasize the international nature of this; really this only involves the standard character encoding agreed upon between ISO 10646 and the Unicode Consortium.  I'm fine with ICODE/ICHAR too; really, the main reason to use UNICODE/UNICHAR would be simply consistency with past practice.  Another is that many developers are familiar with Unicode (the term "international" can be a little ambiguous, since there are past multi-nation specifications like Latin-1 that aren't the same thing). Anyone who cares either way, please speak up. ASAP.

--- David A. Wheeler

----- Start Forwarded Message -----
Sent: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 10:10:12 -0800
From: "Magda Danish (Unicode)" <v-magdad@microsoft.com>
To: "dwheeler@dwheeler.com" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com>
Subject: FW: Subj: Use of UNICODE name as a standard spreadsheet function

 Dear Mr. Wheeler,

Thank you for checking with us regarding possible trademark issues. I am happy to inform you that there would be no restriction on naming a function "unicode" or whatever other name you want. Certainly no licensing issues as far as the Unicode Consortium is concerned. I hope this answers your question.

That said, Unicode technical directors [begin quote] don't see that "UNICODE" is a very good name for a "function...which would return the numeric encoding of a given character." From the way that is stated in the email, it is very unclear what is intended, and the name "UNICODE" doesn't help clarify it. [end quote]

If you feel there's need for any further discussion with a Unicode technical director, please let me know and I would be happy to put you in touch with one.


Magda Danish
Sr. Administrative Director
The Unicode Consortium

-----Original Message-----
Date/Time:    Fri Feb 16 12:46:13 CST 2007
Contact:      dwheeler@dwheeler.com
Name:         David A. Wheeler
Report Type:  Other Question, Problem, or Feedback Opt Subject:  Use of UNICODE name as a standard spreadsheet function name

Dear Unicode Consortium:

Hello, I'm chair of the OASIS office formula subcommittee.  We're writing a specification for the exchange of spreadsheet formulas.

One of the proposed function names is UNICODE, which would return the numeric encoding of a given character.  There will be a few other character-related functions as well.

Would a function with this name cause problems (trademark, etc.)?

There must be absolutely NO ROYALTY or other such restriction on ANY implementation.  It must be possible for this specification to be implmented by a program released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), or by Microsoft using its current Office license. We will change the function name, and/or strike all references to Unicode, if that is the alternative.

We operate under the "RF (Royalty-free) on Limited Terms" Mode of the OASIS IPR Policy, which you can see here:


-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- (End of Report)

----- End Forwarded Message -----

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]