Plane 1 math characters

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Jul 25 2000 - 11:12:19 EDT

Mark Davis <> wrote:

> The best way I find to think of UCS-2 at this point is *not*
> (&#x1D45B;&#x1D45C;&#x1D461;) another encoding, but rather simply a
> shorthand for a particular supported subset of UTF-16. In that way, it
> is like other subsets: for example, I can talk about the Cyrillic-
> block repertoire in UTF-16.


I thought this usage was a bad idea for at least two reasons:

1) We are always told not to use code points that haven't been formally
   assigned (that's why I couldn't get anyone to give me a "sneak
   preview" of characters coming in 3.0.1). I had no idea what was in
   the U+1D4xx region, so I had to buzz over to Michael Everson's
   "Roadmap" pages to find out.

2) What I found out was that they are "Mathematical Alphanumeric
   Symbols," presumably italicized versions of the ASCII letters "NOT",
   and I thought the use of these things as stylized ASCII text (as
   opposed to math symbols) was going to be *highly* discouraged --
   that's why we won't be seeing bold, italic, bold-italic, underlined,
   etc. copies of the entire Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew,
   Han, etc. scripts.

I'm probably taking this a bit too seriously, but I remember a big,
heated debate about encoding these characters in which some high Unicode
guru assured us they were not intended for the use to which Mark just
put them.


-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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