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

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 19:23:31 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"

    From: "Kenneth Whistler" <>
    > Yes. Recent additions of large numbers of mathematical
    > symbols were done at the request of and with the expert
    > participation of the STIX Consortium of mathematical and
    > technical publishers, nomenclatural and font experts of
    > the American Mathematical Society, participants in MathML
    > development, and developers of commercial mathematical
    > formulae handling software.

    In my opinion, Unicode made an error by accepting such encoding. If style is significant in the interpretation of text, then it should have been much more coherent to define supplementary diacritics that modify the semantic of the base character, by assigning them a well-defined style or form variant, in a way similar to an invisible nukta in Brahmic scripts...

    This would have also allowed:
    1) to use any existing letter or digit in any script (for example the AE letter or some Runic, Hebrew or Arabic letter, or some Brahmic digit) as a mathematical symbol that needs various styles for meaning different mathematical semantics.
    2) to avoid presentation conflicts with the default font style used to display also the surrounding non-mathemetical text: we could have had them defined as LETTER MODIFIERS with a reasonnable combining class...

    For now the set of allowed letters is restricted to a few Latin or Greek letters (plus standard diacritics)... So in the future, Unicode will probably receive requests for many other mathemetical letters or digits... I hope Unicode will not need to redefine styled variants for ALL existing letters in defined alphabets or abjads of the BMP...

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