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

From: Ondrej Certik (
Date: Tue Jul 01 2008 - 02:24:02 CDT

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    On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:17 AM, Michael Everson <> wrote:
    > At 20:38 -0400 2008-06-30, David Starner wrote:
    >> On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 7:53 PM, Michael Everson <>
    >> wrote:
    >>> Dragging maths and music into it is a totally different thing.
    >> But the discussion is about math; whether characters should be added
    >> to Unicode to make it easier to mangle math into plain text.
    > Wow, I must have missed that. Serves me right for not being able to read
    > everything that comes through. (Working on Old Hungarian, Mandaic, and some
    > other things...)

    Let me be clear what I want --- I want to finish the unicode support
    for subcripts and superscripts of latin and greek letters. Nothing
    more, nothing less.

    E.g. the argument that one would then need to add Turkish and other
    languages is imho not valid, because as far as I know there is no
    sub/superscripts in Turkish in unicode. I don't want to create a new
    support for some markup, I just want to make consistent what Unicode
    already supports.

    I understand the arguments on both sides, the main argument against is
    that one should not encourage usage of Unicode as a markup. However,
    it already encourages to use superscripts, as unicode supports all
    latin letters except "q". So let's be consistent and add "q" as well.
    The same about the greek letters and subscripts. My argument is that
    either there should be no sup/superscripts, or they should be
    consistent. I.e. if you add *some* latin letters, you should add *all*
    latin letters, if you add *some* greek letters, you should add *all*
    greek letters, if you add *some* numbers, you should add *all*
    numbers, and so on.

    Argument about computerizing -- in our case it is about using
    characters in fixed fonts in a terminal, so if you look at all those
    funny pictures in unicode and what one can do with them (e.g. all
    those frames etc.), Unicode is clearly just more than a set of

    Clearly, one needs to draw a line somewhere between the plain text and
    a markup. The unicode has drawn the line in such a way to put all
    latin letters to one side and "q" to the other side. That is just
    ridiculous in my opinion. Who will use the current "crippled" support
    for superscripts now? I think noone. So maybe we should propose to
    remove them from unicode altogether. I am actually not against,
    because the current state clearly encourages one to use it, as you
    could have seen in our case. If there wasn't already a partial support
    for this in unicode, this discussion would not be here. So let's fix
    that. Either way.

    Good argument by David Starner was about enhancing the terminal to
    support subscripts/superscripts in the same way it supports
    italics/bold/colors. That is a very good argument in fact, thanks a
    lot for it, I'll look into it further how this could be done. Maybe
    this is the way to go.


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