From: Asmus Freytag (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Oct 31 2007 - 22:41:17 CST
On 10/31/2007 8:40 PM, email@example.com wrote:
> The font STIXNonUni.otf contains PUA characters, most of which appear
> to be already in uniocode in some form or another. I am not clear what
> the intended function of these is, they may just be legacy, or
> precomposed glyphs.
I'm not speaking for either Unicode or STIX, but my assumption would be
that many or them are variants of mathematical operators not coded by
variation sequences (and therefore unified). Instead of creating
multiple *font styles* the STIX group apparently believes that coding
these as PUA characters is the preferred way to access these variants.
The problem is that this makes then /characters/ again, although now
characters that can't be interchanged. Any connection or fallback to the
original characters has been lost.
Further, a set of chemical symbols and some other characters have been
added - these are not unifiable and should have been requested perhaps
by the STIX group for encoding. The only reason that I can see why that
wasn't done is that the collaboration with Unicode involved the
mathematicians, not the chemists, so nobody could speak with authority
on how some of these symbols were used in text.
Chemical diagrams have the issue that they are even less like linear
text than mathematics - more like musical notation (and we note, even
the elements for that are now firmly encoded).
However, there are many other interesting shapes in that font, for which
I have no idea what they are supposed to represent. Now that these
shapes have been pulled from the obscurity of whatever entity lists that
they had been languishing on, at made widely available and accessible,
it would be very useful if those still active in the encoding of
(technical) symbols could vet them and propose those that are still missing.
The sooner all /real/ characters can get /real/ code points, the fewer
documents with PUA coded characters will need to be created.
This is therefore a matter of some urgency.
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