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