Re: math alphabets, WAS: Proprietary Card Decks

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Thu Apr 14 2011 - 03:12:05 CDT

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    To: Asmus Freytag <>
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    On 14 Apr 2011, at 02:55, Asmus Freytag wrote:

    >> Unicode does not have characters for say superscripts and subscripts, which are essential to math. My guess it would be too complicated to require it for current text-only renderers, but in the future that might change.
    > No, because in math, superscript is not a character attribute but a formatting style that is applied to any term or formula and that can be fully (and infinitely) nested.
    > That abstraction is better handled in markup than in plain text. (Unlike the mathalphanumerics, such markup is still independent of the font).

    That is so in rendering programs like TeX, because one does not enter the math so that it can be parsed semantically. One enters superscripts how they should be rendered and not by the logical structure of the formula.

    That is different if one has say a theorem prover. Then one can enter a formula, let the program parse it into an AST, and from that infer how it should be rendered, for example, where to put parenthesizes.


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