Unicode roman numerals: Is there an official stance?

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f050b477720> #<Tag:0x00007f050b4775e0>


You are quite right that this is (essentially) the same case as with the Roman numerals. You just have the consequences backwards.

Because it is the same case, the different forms of alpha are treated the same as the Roman numerals by Unicode: they are compatibility characters, too, and you should not normally use them. If you take a look at the properties of U+1D7AA MATHEMATICAL SANS-SERIF BOLD ITALIC SMALL ALPHA, e.g. on FileFormat.Info (which takes this content from the Unicode character database), you see that it has a decomposition defined:


Which means that this character is a compatibility character, representing a normal alpha in a different font.

You mentioned U+B2 SUPERSCRIPT TWO. Have a look at its details:

<super> DIGIT TWO (U+0032)

And finally, look at U+2164 ROMAN NUMERAL FIVE and U+2165 ROMAN NUMERAL SIX:

<compat> LATIN CAPITAL LETTER V (U+0056)


(Pre-edit quote.) And you are again quite right – as the MusicBrainz style leader, @reosarevok is indeed entitled to make binding style decisions.


I have to applaud @reosarevok for stepping in and making the hard call.
I love the Musicbrainz community and it’s open-source approach to discussion and implementation, but often we’re simply not going to reach consensus, and this is most likely one of those cases. Even if we can’t please everyone, we’re at least moving in the same direction.
Truly sorry if you were the one left in the cold this time @marlonob.


I know, that’s why I said it. Then I edited it because stating the obvious rules of the game as if it were a bad thing may be too bitter on my end. I just thought that the way @reosarevok phrased it was a little rude and dismissive of the effort somewhat put into the argument, but I guess is not always easy being in such a place.

I’m okay with this, I still think that, though unorthodox, it is a better practice. But I understand that, for the most, going off book is not worth it in this case. Now we have a clear stance to follow.


@marlonob: Since this is the answer I’ve always given when asked about this issue in the past few years, and it keeps coming up, I decided to just codify it (which is my actual job after all!). I see more good reasons not to use this than to use it, and in situations when there’s no consensus, I get the final call. Since I didn’t see much chance of consensus here, I decided to just stop the discussion from continuing on without a conclusion. Sorry my final decision didn’t go your way this time - I’m sure it will on another case though! :slight_smile:

To keep in mind: in any case where the artist intended to use specifically a Unicode Roman numeral (which might definitely exist, I’d assume especially in Asian releases?) the guideline still does allow their use - they’re just not to be used by default.


@reosarevok: Thanks for taking the time to respond! It was a bummer for me, but I understand, and respect your work. Thanks for putting up with all this picky discussions.

Sorry if I came out as rude, it was not my intention.


Same! I meant it more as in that this was something I thought earlier too specific to codify, but it kept coming up so :slight_smile: Not trying to be rude either but I can see how it sounded that way, so sorry about that!