Math input methods

Hans Aberg haberg-1 at
Wed Jun 4 18:10:52 CDT 2014

On 4 Jun 2014, at 15:00, Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela at> wrote:

> 2014-06-04 15:32, Hans Aberg wrote under Subject: Re: Swift:
>> On 4 Jun 2014, at 13:58, Leonardo Boiko <leoboiko at>
>> wrote:
>>> I don't think this feature saw much use, since programmers in a
>>> global world can't assume that everyone will have easy access to
>>> their input methods, and so tend to restrict code tokens to the
>>> ASCII set to encourage participation.
>> Indeed, the lack of good input methods limits the usability of the
>> math characters, which other may be very useful in programming
>> languages. One way is to add shortcut translations, like typing
>> “real” translates into ℝ (U+211D), but they must be added by hand.
> If you are interested in math input methods, take a look at my design of math keyboard layout for use on normal US keyboard:

Unfortunately I use a different platform.

> Input issues can be handled at many levels, including program-specific translations, but doing them at keyboard level has obvious advantages (and some problems).
> As an aside, the ISO 80000-2 standard on mathematical notations describes boldface letters such as boldface R as symbols for commonly known sets of numbers. The double-struck letters like ℝ as mentioned as an alternative way, whereas in the previous standard, these notations were presented the other way around. The change is logical in the sense that bold face is a more original notation and double-struck letters as characters imitate the imitation of boldface letters when writing by hand (with a pen or piece of chalk).

The STIX fonts [1] have a lot the “traditional” math characters, including the math styles. A discussion here revealed that mathematicians nowadays use a lot more. So a problem is that math uses a lot of characters.


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