[Unicode] Press

Unicode for Mathematics and Technical Publishing

Version 3.2 of the Unicode® Standard Released

Mountain View, CA, April 2, 2002 -- The Unicode® Consortium announced today a new version of the Unicode Standard, Version 3.2, which includes the most extensive set of characters for mathematical and technical publishing yet defined. The Unicode Technical Committee and the Scientific and Technical Information eXchange (STIX) Project of the Scientific and Technical Publishers (STIPub) Consortium worked together over the past 5 years to identify over 1,600 new mathematical symbols and alphanumeric characters, more than doubling the number of characters with mathematical usage previously available.

Barbara Beeton, Composition Systems Staff Specialist at the American Mathematical Society played a pivotal role in the project. Commenting on the release of Version 3.2, Ms. Beeton says: "The correct display of mathematical notation has always been troublesome, and the problems have only increased with the advent of electronic distribution of mathematical information. The resources provided in Unicode 3.2 are an essential first step in making technical communication reliable in the electronic age”.

"To facilitate better communication of science and technology the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has adopted MathML 2.0, the markup language for mathematics," says Patrick Ion, W3C Math Working Group Chair. "MathML integrates with developing Web technologies, and makes essential use of the Unicode character set. The W3C enthusiastically welcomes the publication of Unicode 3.2, with its considerably enhanced support for the symbols of mathematics and science, and is pleased to have contributed to its development."

Other features of Unicode 3.2

With the addition of four indigenous scripts of the Philippines, the Unicode Standard moves further towards full coverage of all living writing systems. Version 3.2 is fully synchronized with International Standard ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, with its Amendment 1, and with ISO/IEC 10646-2:2001.

The Unicode Standard is a major component in the globalization of e-business, as the marketplace continues to demand technologies that enhance seamless data interchange throughout companies' extended -- and often international -- network of suppliers, customers and partners. Unicode is the default text representation in XML, an important open standard being rapidly adopted throughout e-business technology.

"Unicode, the character-encoding scheme, is already a key standard for internationalization. Its relevance will increase as Web services and e-business become increasingly globalized." - Nick Jones, Gartner Research, 21 March 2002.

About the Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organization founded to develop, extend and promote use of the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards.

The membership of the consortium represents a broad spectrum of corporations and organizations in the computer and information processing industry. Full members (the highest level) are: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Basis Technology, Compaq, India's Ministry of Information Technology, IBM, Justsystem, Microsoft, NCR, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Progress Software, The Research Libraries Group, Reuters, RWS Group, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Trigeminal Software, and Unisys.

Membership in the Unicode Consortium is open to organizations and individuals anywhere in the world who support the Unicode Standard and wish to assist in its extension and implementation. For additional information on Unicode, please contact the Unicode Consortium.