Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Martin J. Dürst duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Wed Oct 5 00:27:44 CDT 2016

On 2016/10/04 19:35, Marcel Schneider wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Oct 2016 13:47:09 -0700, Asmus Freytag (c) wrote:

>> Later, the beta and gamma were encoded for phonetic notation, but not the
>> alpha.
>> 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.

This kind of "let's avoid arbitrary limitations" argument works very 
well for subjects that are theoretical, straightforward, and rigid in 
nature. Many (but not all) subjects in computer science (informatics) 
are indeed of such a nature.

The Unicode Consortium (or more specifically, the UTC) does a lot of 
hard work to create theories where appropriate, and to explain them 
where possible. But they recognize (and we should do so, too) that in 
the end, writing is a *cultural* phenomenon, where straightforward, 
rigid theories have severe limitations.

 From a certain viewpoint (the chemist's in the example above), the 
result may look arbitrary, but from another viewpoint (the 
phoneticist's), it looks perfectly fine. At first, it looks like it 
would be easy to fix such problems, but each fix risks to introduce new 
arbitrariness when seen from somebody else's viewpoint. Getting upset 
won't help.

Regards,    Martin.

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