RE: Question ...

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Fri May 09 2003 - 08:01:45 EDT

  • Next message: Jungshik Shin: "RE: Question ..."


    Sorry for re-sending your private message back to the Unicode List, but I
    prefer to keep the discussion public.

    I am far from having all the answers, especially when on topic such as
    mathematical typography. I only have a few answers, which are embedded

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Shaun Dippnall []
    > Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 1:06 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: RE: Question ...
    > Marco,
    > Thanks for your reply.
    > I am writing an actuarial software program and the notation
    > is that used by the Institute of Actuaries in London. The
    > symbols I need are as follows:
    > 1. An a with two dots above it - somthing like:
    > ..
    > a
    > 2. An a with a bar above it - something like:
    > _
    > a

    These characters are also used in the normal spelling of many languages:


    > 3. I need numbers 1-30 as subscripts (this I can find) but
    > they need to be bounded by half a box -
    > __
    > 10I

    Complex typographical formatting is out of the scope of Unicode. Unicode
    only gives you the single symbols needed to compose a mathematical formula.
    Let's say that Unicode only encodes the bare "one-dimensional" tokens of the

    All the "bi-dimensional" part of the formatting must be added by some other
    kind of protocol, built on top of the character encoding. These kinds of
    higher-level protocols are normally called "rich text", and are defined by
    mark-up standards (such as HTML, XML, SGML, etc.), or by proprietary formats
    used by word-processor and mats packages.

    Generally, technical notations (mathematics, music, etc.) are complex case
    of normal prose, because the bi-dimensional formatting is not only stylistic
    or decorative, but also conveys part of the information.

    > As far as the font problems go, how do I know which fonts
    > support which characters?

    I'd leave this to someone having expertise in math publishing.

    > Thanks for your time, it is hugely appreciated.
    > Speak to you soon,
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