Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?
martinmueller at northwestern.edu
Wed Oct 5 01:35:52 CDT 2016
There is always a lot more history than reason in the world. That said, given that alphabets have fixed numbers, it’s weird that bits of super and subscripted letters appear in this or that limited range but that you can’t cobble a whole alphabet together in a consistent manner. If any , why not all, especially if there are only two or three dozen.
On 10/4/16, 11:27 PM, "Unicode on behalf of Martin J. Dürst" <unicode-bounces at unicode.org on behalf of duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp> wrote:
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
>> 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
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