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MathGroup Archive 1992

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How much math-typesetting smarts should Mma include?

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: How much math-typesetting smarts should Mma include?
  • From: HenningLeidecker <me at leidecker.gsfc.nasa.gov>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Nov 92 09:26:43 -0500

Dr. Wiscombe's thoughtful remarks ("What should Mma be?") nicely sum  
up a strong feeling of mine.  I too believe that WRI's resources  
would be far better spent on strengthening the *mathematical* side of  
Mma, rather than in attempts to strengthen the typographic side.  


TeX gives us some idea of what it takes to get publication-quality  
math typography.  TeX is neither small (400 to 600 Kbytes is common  
for the tex-binary, and the printer-driver and font-files are  
extra.), nor quick to learn.  It took Knuth and associates several  
years to bring it to the point where many other could use it for  
production-typesetting.  And smaller systems are (IMHO) shabby.

Mma does not include its own FORTRAN (or C) compiler, nor a  
RenderMan-like (or KHOROS-like) 3D-visualizer.  It has hooks to such  
Apps, and that is a proper division of labor.  I propose that Mma not  
develop its own industrial-strength math-smart typographic system,  
but provide hooks to existing ones.

Regards,
Henning Leidecker





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