From: Asmus Freytag (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 13:39:26 CDT
Any notation for a highly specialized subject would always tend to suffer
from a very small number of participants. This is not a-priori a reason to
force this notation into private use. One of our goals in this direction
would be to enable publishers to support online editions of a large number
of fields without running into a hodge-podge of supported vs. non-supported
This issue is squarely faced by mathematicians all the time (in fact,
mathematicians and linguists are very similar in their voraciousness of
pressing unrelated or novel symbols into use in extending their notatins to
If a notational extension is very new, and not widely adopted, it makes
sense holding off on permanently adding characters to support it -- until
it is more widely established.
For historical notations, issues are different. If a modern notations has
completely replaced the historical notation, it should be treated the in
the same manner as archaic scripts, that is, the focus should be on what's
needed or useful to support historians of the discipline. If a notation was
widespread before being supplanted, that would strengthen the case for
supporting it, as the likelihood that symbols will be referenced in modern
contexts is that much greater.
If occasional use or reference to the historic notation can be documented,
then it would be more appropriate to treat it like a rare script, or like
historic additions to modern scripts, which see occasional use.
If there's known ongoing use, or documented recent citations of older
notation, then it's really a case of modern use of a specialized notation
and it should be treated like that.
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