Re: Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

From: lorieul <>
Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 15:48:59 +0200


On Fri, 2016-09-30 at 11:57 +0200, Gael Lorieul wrote:
> I wonder why only a subset of the alphabet is available as subscript
> and/or superscript ?

On Fri, 2016-09-30 at 17:08 +0200, "Jörg Knappen" wrote:
> They were found in older charactersets and Unicode
> provides so-called "round-trip compatibility" to those
> older character sets.

Okay I understand better the context now…

On Fri, 2016-09-30 at 17:19 +0200, Philippe Verdy wrote:
> Your problem here is that "start" and "end" are not
> symbols/variables but actual English words. Why
> would this usage be restricted only to English ?
> The same formula would need to be really translated
> in various languages and scripts, needing then
> mapping all letters in Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, but
> even also Arabic, Japanese Chinese, Hindi...

On Fri, 2016-09-30 at 13:11 -0300, Leonardo Boiko wrote:
> The Unicode codepoints are not intended as a place
> to store typographically variant glyphs (much like
> the Unicode "italic" characters aren't designed as
> a way of encoding italic faces).

I understand your point…

On Fri, 2016-09-30 at 17:08 +0200, "Jörg Knappen" wrote:
> Sub- and Superscripts are considered "higher level markup"
> and not parts of plain text in UNicode. You can easily get
> at them using LaTeX notation or HTML tags for sub- or superscripts.

The drawback of that solution is lack of readability in the sources. I
would like to have a formatting in the spirit of markdown i.e. a
formating that is easy to read both in the sources and after html- or
pdf- or whatever-generation. Indeed Latex formulas are often not easy to
decypher… Since one spends more time reading source code than
documentation it is important that the comments within the source files
are also easily readable. This way, there is no need to constantly
switch back-and-forth between text editor and documentation : the source
code suffices to itself.

On Sat, 2016-10-01 at 11:12 +0300, a.lukyanov wrote:
> I think that the right thing to do would be to create
> several new control/formatting characters, like this:
> "previous character is superscript"
> "previous character is subscript"
> "previous character is small caps (for use in phonetic transcription
> "previous character is mathematical blackletter"
> etc
> Then people will be able to apply this features on any
> character as long as their font supports it.

That would be a nice alternative indeed.


Received on Sat Oct 01 2016 - 08:49:51 CDT

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