Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Julian Bradfield jcb+unicode at inf.ed.ac.uk
Mon Oct 10 16:36:49 CDT 2016

On 2016-10-10, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
> On 10 Oct 2016, at 21:58, Julian Bradfield <jcb+unicode at inf.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>> That's an interesting use of "proprietary" you have there, but I
> You have to have special knowledge and special software to use it.

That's not what "proprietary" means. To quote the OED (which, by the
way, is produced by an actual professional publisher, and is stored in
XML, unless I'm badly mistaken), "proprietary" means "Of a product,
esp. a drug or medicine: of which the manufacture or sale is
restricted to a particular person or persons; (in later use)
spec. marketed under and protected by patent or registered trade
If you're typesetting your bible with no special software and no
special knowledge, then you must be doing it by hand in cold
metal. Somehow, I don't think you are.
I suspect you're using software that is owned by somebody and marketed
and protected.

> Apparently it’s used to good effect in mathematics, though a great
> deal of TeX material appears printed and has an obvious “TeX” feel

It's for printing, so of course it appears printed. The obvious TeX
feel is the result of using the default style, which arises from
Knuth's personal taste in mathematical typesetting, with Lamport's
(abominable) taste in structural layout on top. There are tens of
thousands of journals and books produced with LaTeX, in hundreds or
thousands of styles.

Among publishers you may have heard of, Addison-Wesley, CUP, Elsevier,
John Benjamins, OUP, Princeton UP, Wiley all use LaTeX for a
significant proportion of their output. They're all professionals.

> “Properly”, sayeth the computer programmer. Sorry, Julian, but I use professional tools to typeset, and your disdain for that process isn’t going to change that industry. This “suitable markup” business you’re talking about is not something people outside of ivory towers actually use. 

You're a dilettante publisher using low-end professional graphic
design tools to publish. Indesign, for example, is far easier to use
for far greater effect than any LaTeX-based system if you're producing
magazines or posters; but it's far worse if you care about the content.

> That’s not using Unicode for a hack. That’s using Unicode to preserve distinctions in plain text. 

Only because you've a priori decided that superscripts are plain
text instead of extra-textual decorations.

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