Re: Fwd: Re: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 19:56:37 EST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Fwd: Re: (SC2WG2.609) New contribution N2705"

    On 17/02/2004 15:49, D. Starner wrote:

    >>My point is that characters such as 02B0, 02B2, and 02E0 are already used in the
    >>same fashion as the newly proposed Indo-European characters. Therefore, it's
    >>not clear to me why there should be any objection to the latter.
    >Because any mathematical alphanumberic character can appear superscripted
    >in mathematics; does that mean that we need to create superscripted characters
    >for all of them? If these are part of a small, closed set, like U+02B0, then
    >it's appropriate to encode them; but if just any character can appear
    >superscripted or subscripted, then it goes outside Unicode, and needs to be
    >dealt with in markup.

    Unicode started with a small and apparently closed set of superscript
    Latin letters. This set has now grown to include all or almost all of
    the basic Latin alphabet, as well as a good number of capital letters,
    Greek letters and non-basic Latin letters, many of them in the Phonetic
    Extensions block. The way in which these have been added piecemeal means
    that they are non-contiguous and confusing. My point in intervening on
    this topic is to suggest that more forethought is given to subscript
    letters, by allocating a contiguous block into which they can all be
    fitted so that they can all be used without having to be justified
    individually. So I would object to the proposal N2705 because it
    proposed encoding just four such subscript letters in a space which is
    not large enough for even one whole alphabet.

    According to the Roadmap, the Phonetic Extensions block can already be
    extended to cover 1D80-1DBF. I would suggest reserving this extension
    block for subscript letters, which gives space for upper and lower case
    subscript basic Latin alphabets and some extra characters. There is
    still a question of where subscript Greek letters might go; there is
    just space for a lower case Greek alphabet in the Greek and Coptic
    block, but this is not contiguous.

    Alternatively, let's leave all subscripting to markup.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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