These have been included because they are in widespread use in a current
written culture. The problems I personally have are down to characters
used by a single publisher in a handful of books more than a hundred
years ago. Such characters are explicitly excluded from Unicode.
In the early period of the standardisation of the Māori language there
were several competing ideas of what to use as a character set. One of
those included a 'wh' ligature as a character. Several works were
printed using this ligature. This ligature does not qualify for
inclusion in Unicode.
That is a matter of discussion. If you do not call it 'ligature' chances
are higher to get it included.
To see how we handle the text, see:
The underlying representation is TEI/XML, which has a mechanism to
handle such glyphs. The things I'm still unhappy with are:
* getting reasonable results when users cut-n-paste the text/image HTML
combination to some other application
* some browsers still like line-breaking on images in the middle of words
That's interesting and reminds me on the treatment of mathematical
formula in journal titels which mostly end up as ugly images.
In Unicode you are allowed to assign private characters
The U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER could also be used but most browsers will
not support it - you need a font that supports your character anyway.
In summary: Unicode is just a subset of all characters which have been
used for written communication and whether a character gets included
depends not only on objective properties but on lobbying and other
circumstances. The deeper you dig the more nasty Unicode gets - as all
complex formats and standards.
P.S: Michael Kaplan's blog also contains a funny article about emoji:
Jakob Voß <jakob.v...@gbv.de>, skype: nichtich
Verbundzentrale des GBV (VZG) / Common Library Network
Platz der Goettinger Sieben 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
+49 (0)551 39-10242, http://www.gbv.de