**From:** Kenneth Whistler (*kenw@sybase.com*)

**Date:** Thu May 22 2003 - 21:37:19 EDT

**Previous message:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: CodePage Information"**Maybe in reply to:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Next in thread:**Asmus Freytag: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Maybe reply:**David Starner: "Re: Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Asmus Freytag: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]**Mail actions:**[ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]

*> From: "Kenneth Whistler" <kenw@sybase.com>
*

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

And Philippe (Johnny Come Lately) Verdy opined:

*>
*

*> In my opinion, Unicode made an error by accepting such encoding.
*

Well, you are entitled to your opinion about this, but I was

responding to your prior claim that the addition of math symbols

to Unicode would not be of use because math cannot be represented

in plain text anyway. To which I responded that the additions

were at the request of various mathematical and technical publishing

experts, because they asserted that they *wanted* to use them.

*> If style is significant in the interpretation of text, then it
*

*> should have been much more coherent to define supplementary
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*> diacritics that modify the semantic of the base character,
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*> by assigning them a well-defined style or form variant, in a
*

*> way similar to an invisible nukta in Brahmic scripts...
*

Such an option was fully debated years ago before the

mathematical alphanumeric characters were added to Unicode 3.1,

and was rejected because it would play havoc with the

representation of nonmathematical text in Unicode.

*> 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.
*

Yes, anyone *could* do such things, but in fact mathematical

practice does not do so. Mathematicians avoid even

using accented Latin or Greek characters, because the accents

would interfere with the use of other math diacritics and would

confuse the point of the formalism.

The UTC had advice from some of the world's leading experts on

mathematical publishing, and the repertoire that was chosen

reflects their best advice. (And I can assure you, they have

reviewed many more mathematical publications than you are likely

to have done.)

*> For now the set of allowed letters is restricted to a few
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*> Latin or Greek letters
*

As intended.

*> (plus standard diacritics)... So in the future, Unicode will
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*> probably receive requests for many other mathemetical letters
*

*> or digits...
*

From whom? If the professional mathematicians say the current

set is sufficient.

*> I hope Unicode will not need to redefine styled variants for
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*> ALL existing letters in defined alphabets or abjads of the BMP...
*

Why stop there? I am *sure* that someday the mathematicians

will need Bold Fraktur Linear B Ideograms for their formulae.

Drat, it seems we made a big mistake in not encoding a

BOLD FRAKTUR STYLE COMBINING MARK..... NOT!

--Ken

**Next message:**Doug Ewell: "Re: CodePage Information"**Previous message:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: CodePage Information"**Maybe in reply to:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Next in thread:**Asmus Freytag: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Maybe reply:**David Starner: "Re: Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Asmus Freytag: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Messages sorted by:**[ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] [ attachment ]**Mail actions:**[ respond to this message ] [ mail a new topic ]

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