Re: how to add all latin (and greek) subscripts

From: Kirill Smelkov (
Date: Sat Jun 28 2008 - 07:19:22 CDT

  • Next message: Ondrej Certik: "Re: how to add all latin (and greek) subscripts"

    On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 09:30:58AM +0200, Ondrej Certik wrote:
    > Hi,
    > first thanks Xun, Phillips, Johannes, Kent and Asmus for your
    > feedback. My comments are below.
    > On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 9:53 PM, Asmus Freytag <> wrote:
    > > On 6/26/2008 11:15 AM, Kent Karlsson wrote:

    > > The plain text ones have their uses for quick and dirty footnote symbols and
    > > for indicating squared units in otherwise non-mathematical texts as well as
    > > similar *simple* usages. Such fallbacks are best limited to single digits of
    > > the 8859-1 subset to avoid the surprises you ran into.
    > >
    > > In addition, as you had noted earlier, the full repertoire of super and
    > > subscript characters are the proper choice for phonetic notations (e.g.
    > > digits used as tone marks). Such notations require preservation of specific
    > > semantics across formatting languages. They require much more extensive
    > > Unicode support as well as special fonts, and they wouldn't survive
    > > transcoding anyway, meaning the issues you encountered with your examples
    > > aren't as relevant in that field of application.
    > >
    > > A./
    > >
    > > PS: in the late 90's a request had been forwarded from people maintaining a
    > > chemical database to add a small number of additional Greek subscripts. The
    > > rationale was that they type of database was not able to handle any markup.
    > > The request never went anywhere, for lack of specific input from the
    > > submitters beyond an initial discussion, and it is unknown how they solved
    > > their problem. The database was intended for regulatory purposes, so one
    > > assumes that some solution was found, but there has been no information.
    > For general mathematical formulas, one needs to use TeX or a similar
    > system (mathml for example, but the current rendering engines for
    > mathml, like in browsers, do not look as good as TeX). Of course we
    > support this in sympy, but what I am asking for is to improve the
    > experience in the terminal, because you cannot use tex or mathml in
    > the terminal (those require a full graphical fronted, like a browser,
    > or a windows application)
    > To give you the idea what I mean, look at these examples:
    > (especially the screenshots of the terminals at the end). See also
    > this thread for the background why we want that:
    > The observation is, that one can take advantage of unicode and print a
    > surprisingly lot of formulas in a plain text (terminal) mode. E.g.:
    > ½∂ᵦφ∂ᵝφ
    > but as I said, some characters are missing. As I understand, unicode
    > still has a lot of free space to add more characters, right? Is there
    > some technical problem with it? If not, let's discuss the
    > philosophical issues: you can do all superscripts, except "q". I
    > understand those could be from historical reasons, but anyway, let's
    > just add "q" somewhere and be done with it. Then let's add all missing
    > latin letters to subscripts, there are already 8 of them, so let's add
    > the rest too. And then the same for greek super and subscripts.
    > Some of you objected (if I understand) that one should not use sub or
    > superscripts, because those are meant only for backward compatibility,
    > one should use a markup. Well, as Kent has remarked, it is useful in
    > many cases. That's why all the numbers were added. Well, the latin
    > (and greek) letters would be *very* useful to math, because you can
    > represent tensors easily with it. If there were not latin/greek
    > sub/superscripts in unicode, I would understand that. But in the
    > present case, where clearly the support is already there, only half
    > finished, it seems to me that the best way to go forward is to finish
    > the support for all latin/greek sub/superscripts.

    I can only second this!

    The support for latin super and subscripts is already half-there, so it
    would be *very* convenient to have it 100% done.

    Markup is good, but a lot of research environment still work in plain
    terminal (e.g. like XTerm), so having unicode building blocks is quite

    Look, support for e.g. next is already there in unicode:

      v(t) = ⎮ k(τ - t)*s(τ) dτ, где

      Ψ₀(z) = C*ℯ

    So maybe let's do it 100% and consistent?

    > What do you think? If you are not against and agree with me that it
    > should be done, I'd like to do the work --- I'd appreciate any
    > pointers about what should I do.
    > If you don't agree, I'd like to discuss it. :)

    I could too try to help.

    Thanks beforehand.

        Всего хорошего, Кирилл.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Jun 29 2008 - 09:49:59 CDT