Two Biángs Are Better Than One

The Unicode Consortium is planning to once again propose the encoding of the well-attested ideograph whose reading is biáng. Previous attempts at encoding this ideograph have failed due to the lack of sufficient evidence, such as appearing in a dictionary or other printed source. This time, however, there is sufficient evidence, and the simplified form of this ideograph will also be included in the proposal. Both forms, along with their U-Source references UTC-00791 and UTC-01312, are depicted below:

IRG Recommendation M44.4 indicates that the deadline for submitting proposals for the next IRG working set, which means for the CJK Unified Ideographs extension that follows Extension F2, is 2015-11-02. John Jenkins, Andrew West, Ming Fan, and yours truly have been diligently working on the submission from the Unicode Consortium, and the only tricky part is that it requires UTC (Unicode Technical Committee) approval prior to submission.

There are actually two prongs to the trickiness, which is all about timing and coordination.

  • One prong is that all characters in a Unicode Consortium submission must be included in UAX #45 (U-Source Ideographs), which first entails UTC approval, along with the assignment of a new U-Source reference. The simplified form of biáng is not yet included in UAX #45, but L2/15-225 requests that it be added.
  • The other prong is that the submission deadline happens to be the very first day of UTC #145. The good news is that the submission is ready, and has been posted as L2/15-223.

In other words, in order to meet the IRG’s submission deadline, both of these documents need to be discussed—and approved—on the very first day of UTC #145, and in the following order: L2/15-225 then L2/15-223. Once approved by the UTC, L2/15-223 will be submitted to IRG #45 as IRG N2091.

Wish us luck!

One Response to Two Biángs Are Better Than One

  1. For those who may feel that these two ideographs are far too complex to encode, in terms of their number of strokes or their ability to display in a legible manner, please consider the following ideographs that are already encoded, and which have 40 or greater strokes:

    URO (3): 䨻 (52), 䲜 (44), 龘 (48)
    Extension B (13): 𠔻 (64), 𦧄 (42), 𦧅 (48), 𧆘 (43), 𧢱 (44), 𩇓 (40), 𩇔 (48), 𩙣 (46), 𩙤 (48), 𪓊 (41), 𪚍 (40), 𪚎 (40), 𪚥 (64)
    Extension E (1): 𬚩 (53)

    Click here to view a graphic of the same ideographs, shown together with the two ideographs that are the subject of this article.