**From:** Asmus Freytag (*asmusf@ix.netcom.com*)

**Date:** Fri May 23 2003 - 00:25:18 EDT

**Previous message:**Doug Ewell: "Re: CodePage Information"**In reply to:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Next in thread:**Philippe Verdy: "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:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Philippe Verdy: "[OT for Asmus Freytag only] 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 ]

At 06:37 PM 5/22/03 -0700, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

*>The UTC had advice from some of the world's leading experts on
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*>mathematical publishing, and the repertoire that was chosen
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*>reflects their best advice. (And I can assure you, they have
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*>reviewed many more mathematical publications than you are likely
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*>to have done.)
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more, in fact than most mathematiticians would ordinarily have read,

since as publishers they are equally exposed to all subdisciplines.

*> > For now the set of allowed letters is restricted to a few
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*> > Latin or Greek letters
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*>
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*>As intended.
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*>
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*> > (plus standard diacritics)...
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No. Not plus standard diacritics. Mathematical notation itself

gives meaning to a number of diacritics that are otherwise common

in text (e.g. diaeresis can represent the second derivative with

respect to the time variable). Therefore mathematical notation

eschews the use of accented *letters* as variables - the variables

are always the base forms.

The limitation with regards to the common base forms will thus serve

as a reminder that these are mathematical symbols that are letterlike,

but are not ordinary text.

*>So in the future, Unicode will
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*> > probably receive requests for many other mathemetical letters
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*> > or digits...
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*>
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*> From whom? If the professional mathematicians say the current
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*>set is sufficient.
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While Unicode's coverage of the existing practice is now fairly exhaustive,

the set of mathematical symbols (i.e. all of the units of mathematical

notation, not just the alphanumerics) is open-ended in principle.

As subdisciplines mature their notational innovations become standard,

and if they have made novel uses of shapes for which there aren't

any encoded characters, then there will be additional requests.

Many of these will be for non-letter symbols, but conceivably they

could include letterlike or digitlike symbols as well.

As Unicode (and technologies built on it, as MathML) become more

widespread, you can expect to see a feedback mechanism. It will

be far easier for any single mathematician to (re-)use an existing

Unicode character than to create an entirely new one, which could

have the result of making his or her work less portable (until

standardization catches up). Once a certain critical mass is reached

where most papers can be published without ad-hoc symbols, the

pressure to stay within the existing set is going to increase.

*> > 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...
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I hope so to. And not only hope, but given the understanding of the

way the development of that 'script' is operating, I am fairly

confident.

A./

**Next message:**Asmus Freytag: "Re: Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Previous message:**Doug Ewell: "Re: CodePage Information"**In reply to:**Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Next in thread:**Philippe Verdy: "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:**Philippe Verdy: "Re: Is it true that Unicode is insufficient for Oriental languages?"**Reply:**Philippe Verdy: "[OT for Asmus Freytag only] 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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