FYI: Unicode 5.1 Released

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Sat Apr 5 02:20:18 CEST 2008

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rick McGowan <rick at>
Date: Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 3:54 PM
Subject: Unicode 5.1 Released
To: unicode at

The Unicode Consortium is pleased to announce the release of Unicode 5.1.
This release contains over 100,000 characters, and provides significant
additions and improvements that extend text processing for software
worldwide. Some of the key features are: increased security in data
exchange, significant character additions for Indic and South East Asian
scripts, expanded identifier specifications for Indic and Arabic scripts,
improvements in the processing of Tamil and other Indic scripts,
linebreaking conformance relaxation for HTML and other protocols,
strengthened normalization stability, new case pair stability,
plus others given below.

The Version 5.1.0 data files and documentation are final and posted on the
Unicode site. In addition to updated existing files, implementers will
find new test data files (for example, for linebreaking) and new XML data
files that encapsulate all of the Unicode character properties. For
details, see the page for Unicode 5.1.0 at

A major feature of Unicode 5.1.0 is the enabling of ideographic variation
sequences. These sequences allow standardized representation of glyphic
variants needed for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean text. The first
registered collection, from Adobe Systems, is now available at

Unicode 5.1 contains significant changes to properties and behaviorial
specifications. Several important property definitions were extended,
improving linebreaking for Polish and Portuguese hyphenation. The Unicode
Text Segmentation Algorithms, covering sentences, words, and characters,
were greatly enhanced to improve the processing of Tamil and other Indic
languages. The Unicode Normalization Algorithm now defines stabilized
strings and provides guidelines for buffering. Standardized named sequences
are added for Lithuanian, and provisional named sequences for Tamil.

Unicode 5.1.0 adds 1,624 newly encoded characters. These additions include
characters required for Malayalam and Myanmar and important individual
characters such as Latin capital sharp s for German. Version 5.1 extends
support for languages in Africa, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam,
with the addition of the Cham, Lepcha, Ol Chiki, Rejang, Saurashtra,
Sundanese, and Vai scripts. Scholarly support includes important editorial
punctuation marks, as well as the Carian, Lycian, and Lydian scripts, and
the Phaistos disc symbols. Other new symbol sets include dominoes, Mahjong,
dictionary punctuation marks, and math additions. This latest version of
the Unicode Standard has exactly the same character assignments as ISO/IEC
10646:2003 plus Amendments 1 through 4.

The Unicode Collation Algorithm (UCA), the core standard for sorting all
text, is also being updated at the same time (see The major changes in UCA include
coverage of all Unicode 5.1 characters, tightened conformance for canonical
equivalence, clearer definitions of internationalized search and matching,
specifications of parameters for customizing collation, and definitions of
collation folding. There are also important clarifications on the use of
contractions (such as "ch" in Slovak) in collation.

The next version of the Unicode locale project (CLDR) is also being
prepared on the basis of Unicode 5.1, and is now open for public data
submission (see


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