Consensus Call on Latin Sharp S and Greek Final Sigma

Harald Alvestrand harald at
Sun Nov 29 19:33:10 CET 2009

Mark Davis ☕ wrote:
> (2) Both characters should be DISALLOWED
> /
> I think the way the question is phrased may mislead some people on 
> this list./ The /*real*/ choice is between having them mapped to "ss" 
> vs having them distinguished from "ss", because all browser vendors 
> are planning to provide mappings, and I think all other vendors will 
> be drawn down that path, for compatibility with the browsers.
I have heard your arguments, and I have made a conscious decision to 
think otherwise.

Long term, I don't want "" to have a ghost alias 
"paß" that I can do nothing to stop people referring to - 
or even detect that they refer to.

Mappings are, long term, a Bad Idea.
> This standard is not written in a vacuum; whether or not eszett and 
> final-sigma would have been a better choice 7 years ago, billions of 
> current browsers and other programs use the 2003 policies, and those 
> would take years to change. In the meantime, a change of this 
> magnitude from 2003 will cause significant problems.
> The people on this list need to carefully consider their positions, 
> since they will not have to live with the compatibility and security 
> problems; German and Greek speakers will. And it is telling that 
> representatives like the German and Austrian NICs are in favor of 
> continuing the 2003 policies of mapping the characters.
> Mark

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