RE: ZWJ, ZWNJ and VS in Latin and other Greek-derived scripts

From: Ruszlan Gaszanov (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2007 - 12:34:57 CST

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    That's exactly my point, Philippe. Some word processor applications do provide add-ons for editing relatively complex formulae, while simple formulae and references to mathematical variables in explanations can be typed as regular text.

    A user, not intimately familiar with internal working of text encoding, would not know the difference between a character from one of the mathematical alphabet and a corresponding regular letter formatted with corresponding style. Therefore, from my experience, most authors will use regular letters with formatting instead of letters from mathematical alphabets in simple formulae and explanations.

    As for formula editors, I'm not sure about Open Office, but MS Word equation editor was written long before mathematical alphabets were encoded in Unicode. I'm not sure how it encodes the variables internally, but in any case, those variables are encoded as regular letters in PDF.

    I'm not sure if Microsoft is planning to rewrite their equation editor anytime soon, or are they going to use characters from mathematical alphabets if they do, but I know for sure that many users will be using current versions of MS Word for years from now for writing mathematical and technical texts among other things.

    So, by encoding mathematical variables as separate characters, we are not avoiding ambiguities, but creating more ambiguities.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: On Behalf Of Philippe Verdy
    Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:45 PM
    To: Asmus Freytag+ADs- Ruszlan Gaszanov
    Subject: Re: ZWJ, ZWNJ and VS in Latin and other Greek-derived scripts

    From: +ACI-Asmus Freytag+ACI-
    +AD4- I don't doubt that they exist, but these people are obviously not
    +AD4- publishing math papers.

    Isn't a standard made to make things more simple? Why shouldn't they beable to publish papers? That's of course a place where classical word processingtools can make efforts.

    Not all will use (La)TeX, they will use MS Word or Open Office, with their bult-in formula editor and with them they will produce PDF files, which are all what they need, most of the time, for publishing their papers.

    What this suggests is that word processing tools are still not convenient enough for technical papers. And it's up to software makers to make more efficient tools, using the technical details specified in Unicodeor elsewhere for correct editing and interoperable publishing.

    Most people don't care, and should not need to care about every Unicode standard details.

    That's where we need efforts in Unicode, in CSS, in rich-text and plain-text format conversion tools or filters. And of course, convenient humane interfaces adapted to the type of publishing work+ACE- (This also includes developing input methods.)

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