Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?
charupdate at orange.fr
Tue Oct 4 05:35:53 CDT 2016
On Mon, 3 Oct 2016 13:47:09 -0700, Asmus Freytag (c) wrote:
> On 10/3/2016 11:47 AM, Doug Ewell wrote:
> > Basic chemical formulas like H₂SO₄ or [ClO₂]⁺ can be written in
> > plain Unicode text. At some point the line between basic and non-basic
> > has to be drawn, just as with arbitrarily stacked superscripts in math,
> > and some sort of fancy-text solution has to take over.
> UTC determined many years ago in response to a proposal, that alpha, beta
> and gamma, common in organic chemistry, were not acceptable for encoding
> as super/subscripts.
> At the time, this was requested to support plain text databases used for
> regulatory purposes, where these were required as super or subscripts.
> Later, the beta and gamma were encoded for phonetic notation, but not the
> As a result, you can write basic formulas for select compounds, but not all.
> Given that these basic formulae don't need full 2-D layout, this still seems
> like an arbitrary restriction.
When itʼs about informatics, arbitrary restrictions are precisely what gets me
upset. Those limitations are—as I wrote the other day—a useless worsening
of the usability and usefulness of a product.
On Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:43:04 -0700, Doug Ewell replied:
> Asmus Freytag (c) wrote:
> > As a result, you can write basic formulas for select compounds, but
> > not all. Given that these basic formulae don't need full 2-D layout,
> > this still seems like an arbitrary restriction.
> Adding a carefully selected group of styled characters to the original,
> carefully selected set seems perfectly reasonable, and is how Unicode
> has worked for around 25 years. Is your suggestion to do that, or to
> throw the doors wide open?
I guess there is no need to throw any door open, and Iʼm sure that no
suggestion to do so is included here. After the great many options that
have been discussed, itʼs now up to encode no more than one or, say,
a handful more superscripts and subscripts, to enable people to achieve
a great deal of database architecture.
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