Re: Origin of the U+nnnn notation

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Wed Nov 09 2005 - 12:46:08 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Origin of the U+nnnn notation"

    I think that is simply an oversight and should be corrected, since in
    English it would not include zero.


    Guy Steele wrote:

    > On Nov 8, 2005, at 10:52 PM, Philippe Verdy wrote:
    >> From: "Guy Steele" <>
    >>>> A positive value too. Zero is both negative and positive.
    >>> That is not the mathematically conventional use of those terms;
    >>> rather, zero is neither negative nor positive. That is why we use the
    >>> terms nonnegative (to mean "zero or positive") and nonpositive
    >>> (to mean "zero or negative").
    >> That's the conventional mathematical use of the term positive, as I
    >> learnt it. To say not null, I learnt "strictly positive", and never
    >> "non-negative". This may be cultural differences here (I'm in
    >> France, the terms were actually in French). But there are much
    >> enough mathematical demonstrationsand definitions of variables that
    >> use "positive" inclusively. We could also say "positive or null" but
    >> this is generally not necessary.
    >> Okay, fair enough. (I am no expert in French, but of course
    > I respect the work and usage of French mathematicians.
    > I consulted a standard English dictionary, Merriam-Webster's
    > Tenth Collegiate, before making my remark, and the
    > Mathematical Dictionary by James and James agrees,
    > so I stand by my remarks about the technical meanings of
    > the terms in English. I refrain from citing the Wikipedia!)
    > ObUnicode: At
    > we read the description of field 8 in UnicodeData.txt:
    > (8) If the character has the numeric property, as specified in
    > Chapter 4
    > of the Unicode Standard, the value of that character is
    > represented with
    > an positive or negative integer or rational number in this field.
    > [Yes, "an" positive, sic.] The author of this text seems to assume that
    > "positive or negative" includes zero, inasmuch as U+0030, for example,
    > has the value 0 in field 8. (I would have written "with a (possibly
    > signed)
    > integer or rational number" and then given the three examples of
    > U+0035 DIGIT FIVE having value 5, U+1946 LIMBU DIGIT ZERO having
    > value 0, and U+0F33 TIBETAN DIGIT HALF ZERO having value -1/2.)
    > --Guy Steele

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