Re: Symbol font mappings

From: Kevin Bracey (
Date: Fri Oct 22 1999 - 08:03:15 EDT

In message <>
          Robert Herzog <> wrote:

> 3. The Greek seem to prefer the 'open phi' in their texts, which
> suggests to use 'open phi' at U+03C6, greek letter phi. For
> the mathematicians it does not matter if 'open phi' is at
> U+03C6 and 'closed phi' at U+03D5 (greek phi symbol) or the
> other way around as long as the assignment is fixed (for ever).

I would say that maths has a preference for the closed form as plain
"phi" - the open one is rarely used, in my experience. This is not as
important as getting the basic Greek alphabet in the right order though.

> 5. To keep Unicode unambigous (just about) AND follow Greek practice
> the 'open phi' glyph will be shown at U+03C6 and and the
> 'closed phi' at U+03D5 in Unicode 3.0.
> (I would have liked an unambigous name for the characters as well,
> eg. 'Greek small letter phi' and 'Greek small letter closed phi',
> but I guess this is politically [also technically?] impossible.)

Okay, fair enough. But...

> 6.
> is a GLYPHlist. Unless it is changed PostScript 'phi' means 'closed phi'
> and PS 'phi1' 'open phi', because that's how they appear in the Symbol font.

Who says the Symbol font is the reference? Those names apply to any font.

> 7. Hence from 5 and 6 follows for Unicode 3.0
> U+03C6 -> 'open phi' -> PostScript name 'phi1' and
> U+03D5 -> 'closed phi' -> PS name 'phi',
> which is different from the current Adobe glyphlist.

And will break current Greek fonts, which will have /phi, not /phi1.
And it means the Greek alphabet according to Adobe would be rather odd,
and wouldn't correspond with Unicode:

    ... /chi /delta /epsilon /phi1 /gamma /eta ...
I would suggest a better change would be to alter the encoding of the Symbol
font, not the Adobe Glyph List.

I can't see that it makes sense for /phi to be anything other than U+03C6.

Kevin Bracey, Senior Software Engineer
Pace Micro Technology plc                     Tel: +44 (0) 1223 518566
645 Newmarket Road                            Fax: +44 (0) 1223 518526
Cambridge, CB5 8PB, United Kingdom            WWW:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:54 EDT