Encoding italic (was: A last missing link)

Mark E. Shoulson via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Sun Jan 20 18:52:28 CST 2019

On 1/19/19 10:14 PM, James Kass via Unicode wrote:
> (In the event that a persuasive proposal presentation prompts the 
> possibility of italics encoding...)
> Possible approaches include:
> 1 - Liberating the italics from the Members Only Math Club
> ...which has been an ongoing practice since they were encoded.  It 
> already works, but the set is incomplete and the (mal)practice is 
> frowned upon.  Many of the older "shortcomings" of the set can now be 
> overcome with combining diacritics.  These italics decompose to ASCII.
Provides italics the same way that ASCII provides letters.  You can use 
them with any alphabet you want, as long as it's Latin.  (Or Greek, 
true).  Essentially requires doubling of huge chunks of the Unicode 
> 2 - Character level
> Variation selectors work with today's tech.  Default ignorable 
> property suggests that apps that don't want to deal with them won't.  
> Many see VS as pseudo-encoding.  Stripping VS leaves ASCII behind.
This, or something like this, is IMO the only possibility that has any 
chance at all.
> As "food for thought" questions, if a persuasive case is presented for 
> encoding italics, and excluding 4, which approach would have the least 
> impact on the rich-text world?  Which would have the least impact on 
> existing plain-text technology?  Which would be least likely to 
> conflict with Unicode principles/encoding model?



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