Unicode Consortium has been in the news lately because of the candidate emoji characters that are being considered for Unicode 9.0 and as we await confirmation of these characters, the Consortium has made available the core specification for Version 8.0 of the Unicode Standard.
The Unicode Consortium noted that in Version 8.0, the standard grew by 7,716 characters. The latest version is Unicode Consortium’s long-standing commitment to support the full diversity of languages around the world by adding new scripts and other characters that support additional languages of Africa and India, such as Ik, Kulango, and Tai Ahom. The text of the latest version also documents the newly adopted Georgian lari currency symbol.
Some key highlights of the specification are:
- A rewritten description of casing to account for the addition of a set of lowercase Cherokee syllables
- A substantial revision to the documentation on emoji symbols, including descriptions of the new symbol modifiers for implementing skin tone diversity
- An update to New Tai Lue to describe the change of model from logical to visual
- Descriptions for five new scripts and Sutton SignWriting
- Improvements to existing script descriptions, including Bengali, Devanagari, Malayalam, and to the description of tag characters.
All other components of Unicode 8.0 were released on June 17, 2015 to allow vendors to update their implementations of Unicode 8.0 as early as possible. These components include the Unicode Standard Annexes, code charts, and the Unicode Character Database. The publication of the core specification completes the definitive documentation of the Unicode Standard, Version 8.0. A print-on-demand (POD) version for Unicode 8.0 is planned for later publication.