Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 17:46:42 EDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Maths letters and digits (was: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?)"

    From: "John Hudson" <>
    > At 10:29 AM 5/22/2003, Theodore H. Smith wrote:
    > You may also notice, in Plane 1, a whole set of stylistic variants of the
    > Latin alphabet, including italic, script and fraktur (blackletter, also
    > sometimes mistakenly called 'Gothic lettering'). These are also not
    > intended for encoding text in English or any other Latin script language,
    > but only for use in mathematics.

    Additionally, mathematics has a heay use of diacritics above, below, around or over letter symbols. I just wonder if standard combining characters (starting at 0x300), can be used with them in addition to supplementary mathematical diacritics like arrows, prime symbols, etc...

    In some cases, these diacritics are considered as separate characters for operators, and use a distinct non purely textual representation with rich tags (for example with MathML), where the prefered encoding may be ambiguous.

    Given that it's difficult to represent all mathematics notation in pure textual (i.e. Unicode) representations, I wonder if all those characters are really useful, even for maths, as complex notations cannot be encoded only with Unicode, but require a much more complex layout engine than traditional text layout (even more complex than the Tibetan subjoined letters, or Korean clusters), which can't fit with maths needs which requires contextual interpretation and embeddable sub-encoding blocks with special markup (unless we use many pairs of parenthesis and simplified functional symbols).

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