Re: math alphabets, WAS: Proprietary Card Decks

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed Apr 13 2011 - 16:58:22 CDT

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: math alphabets, WAS: Proprietary Card Decks"

    Yes, mathematicians will use anything available :)

    However, only some notations will become established enough to warrant
    standardization. That goes for symbols as well as for the math

    If there is an established body of notation that makes a distinction not
    possible today in Unicode, and especially if that leads to
    interoperability issues with standards, such as MathML that are built on
    Unicode, then the proper thing to do is to propose additional encoded

    This also goes for symbols as well as for math alphanumerics.

    Unicode will always lag the invention of new notation by a bit - that's
    quite OK, and serves as a brake on innovation for innovations sake
    (newly invented symbols will not immediately be first-class citizens).
    Other parts of the infrastructure, like font development and
    availability will also lag behind any inventions.

    If an invention catches on in the field and leads to a notation shared
    by many users, then, at that point, it's Unicode's role to acknowledge
    this and to accommodate this development in character encoding.

    That does make Unicode "open-ended", but only to the degree that writing
    systems (including notational systems) aren't fixed over time. Unicode
    is not designed to be open ended in the sense of supporting any use that
    can be imagined, but only in the sense that it should support those uses
    that have gained acceptance.


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