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Re: Math Arrows and Harpoons

At 13:13 +0100 1998/11/13, Taco Hoekwater wrote:
> HA> I think this is the problem with treating such symbols as
> HA> characters and putting them into a character font: One should
> HA> have some more general underlying mechanism describing them.
>This is true, but does not apply to Unicode character tables.  The
>idea is: every specific currently used *meaning* should have a
>character/glyph pair to go with it. Sure the font will contain some
>"build it yourself" characters, but these cannot be submitted to
>Unicode for precisely the above reason.

The Unicode idea with "a character = a meaning" works well with (human)
languages, as these (nowadays by agreement) use a fixed number of
characters. But it breaks down in mathematics, where a component of the
character is often a component of the meaning. Even though the input from
Unicode of a new set of math symbols formerly not available is laudable,
Unicode cannot be expected to form a basis for providing all the symbols
needed in mathematics; arrows is a very good example of this.

  Therefore, I think the best one can hope for is making a font that
contains the Unicode symbols, but otherwise is extended in a way useful to
real mathematics.

  Hans Aberg
                  * Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:haberg@member.ams.org>
                  * Home Page: <http://www.matematik.su.se/~haberg/>
                  * AMS member listing: <http://www.ams.org/cml/>