Why incomplete subscript/superscript alphabet ?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Fri Sep 30 11:53:43 CDT 2016

2016-09-30 18:31 GMT+02:00 Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela at cs.tut.fi>:

> 30.9.2016, 19:11, Leonardo Boiko wrote:
> The Unicode codepoints are not intended as a place to store
>> typographically variant glyphs (much like the Unicode "italic"
>> characters aren't designed as a way of encoding italic faces).
> There is no disagreement on this. What I was pointing at was that when
> using rich text or markup, it is complicated or impossible to have
> typographically correct glyphs used (even when they exist), whereas the use
> of Unicode codepoints for subscript or superscript characters may do that
> in a much simpler way.

If things are simple with the few existing characters encoded in Unicode,
they should also be simple with common markup or notation systems. If not,
blame the authors of these systems for not implementing them correctly.
HTML, TeX or MathML have no problem representing these simple
superscript/subscript notations.

Use them ! including when commenting source code (you'll need these systems
anyway when parsing the source code to generate readable documentation for
your projects). Such doc generating tools are now extremely common and used
in lot of common programming languages. It's high time to invest in them
(most of them are integrated within code quality analysis tools, and
project management tools, they generate progress reports, help tuning the
APIs, help generating or checking test code coverage, help tracking bugs,
coordinating work teams, communicating with final users or recipients of
the software).

Programmers should all know and use some of these tools (which can also
work across multiple programming languages, as modern projects are
frequently using multiple ones, needed for the integration, deployment or
interoperability of systems). Unicode will certainly not favor a specific
system, except for specific standards widely used internationaly (e.g. the
few additions requested for TeX needed for technical reasons, such as
specific distinctions of symbols).
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