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Bug#99933: Default charset should be UTF-8

On Tue, Jun 12, 2001 at 05:41:58AM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > Let's imagine you're composing an html document.  What's to prevent
> > > you from wrapping a mathematical alphanumeric character with <b></b>?
> On Tue, Jun 12, 2001 at 10:41:14AM +0200, Radovan Garabik wrote:
> > that is a different kind of "boldness", used to emphasise
> > bold mathematical symbols are different symbols from those not bold.
> > mathematical symbols enclosed in <b></b> are just emphasised normal
> > mathematical symbols, not bold mathematical symbols
> Now let's imagine that a person is actually using this document.
> How can this person tell which kind of boldness is in use?

mathematical symbols could use different typesetting convention
(see latex)

> > > But if the context is not mathematical, how can you tell that
> > > mathematical code points are used?
> > I cannot, therefore there are special mathematical characters
> > to distinguish it.
> Let's imagine that a person is actually reading this document.  What
> difference does it make to this person that the Unicode Consortium has
> named the code point using the word MATHEMATICAL?  How would the
> person even find out about this?  

decent html browser would render mathematical symbols differently.
But, of course, it need not, depeding on font used.

> [I guess they could do view source on the html document, then cut and
> paste an individual character into some search dialog box which might
> then be used to locate the character and (by association) the name of
> the character.  But that seems a bit useless.]
> > > If I say xy-2yz=0, and I don't use mathematical characters, why would
> > > you not interpet that as indicating multiplication?
> > 
> > because I would interpret it as a comparision in some kind of
> > programming language, the one that allows variables to begin
> > with digit.
> How would you know that the Unicode Consortium hadn't used the word
> MATHEMATICAL to describe the code points of those characters?  If you
> didn't know about the code points which have MATHEMATICAL in the name (for
> example, last week), would you have had a different interpretation of this
> expression?  If there was surrounding text describing the character of the
> variables x, y, and z, would you insist on this contrived intepretation
> of yours?

I do not insist on it... but as you can see, without a context
anything can be misinterpreted, and special symbols are just a tad

> If we assume that the user is using debian software which merely displays
> the characters (and doesn't actually inform the user of the unicode names
> for the underlying code points), would there be any particular reason
> for the user to interpret some characters as algebraic variables and
> others as word forming characters in some unknown programming language
> (for some reason other than knowledge of the unicode code point numbers)?

this is just nitpicking...
unicode is full of characters having the same glyphs
how do you distinguish between LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A,
they look the same in upright font, but if you select cursive
font to view the document, they will look differently.
The same with mathematical symbols... they might look the
same with one font, but if you prefer slanted font, you suddenly
see a difference... (or vice versa).

If you select a sentence in your favourite word processing software,
and apply LOWERCASE function, you suddenly see those 3
indistinguishable letters turn into 3 different lowercase letters
(ok, 2 in this case). And surprise, characters in an equation
were NOT lowercased, since your software was clever enough to know
it should not lowercase mathematical symbols automatically.
Neither would it run them through spellchecker.

| Radovan Garabik http://melkor.dnp.fmph.uniba.sk/~garabik/ |
| __..--^^^--..__    garabik @ melkor.dnp.fmph.uniba.sk     |
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