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Re: Re: typesetting fractions
*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
*Subject*: [mg45956] Re: [mg45923] Re: typesetting fractions
*From*: Selwyn Hollis <sh2.7183 at misspelled.erthlink.net>
*Date*: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 04:17:17 -0500 (EST)
*References*: <200401291036.FAA09875@smc.vnet.net>
*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
On Jan 29, 2004, at 5:36 AM, Paul Abbott wrote:
> In article <buqmch$raa$1 at smc.vnet.net>, Garry Helzer <gah at math.umd.edu>
> wrote:
>
>
>> Here's my question. TeX does an excellent job in this regard. TeX has
>> been
>> around since the '60s and is open source. Why doesn't someone at WRI
>> just
>> look at how TeX does it and incorporate the rules? Why reinvent the
>> wheel especially if the wheels you produce in house always seem to
>> have
>> corners on the rim?
>
> Mathematica's typesetting (developed by Neil Soiffer, now at Design
> Science, Inc) *is* based on TeX's typesetting of math (appendix G of
> the
> TeX book).
I find this assertion very bizarre, since so much of Mathematica's
behavior quite different from TeX, especially with regard to spacing.
Here's just one example: If I have a fraction with, say, x+1 in the
denominator, I get exactly that --- no spacing at all between the
glyphs -- so I have to go in and insert spaces manually.
> The fonts (developed by Andre Kuzniarek <mailto:andre at wolfram.com>)
> are different, and TeX's fonts specify certain metrics that are used in
> TeX's typesetting, so the typesetting of math using the Mathematica
> fonts (which, IMHO, look much better than Knuth's computer modern) will
> look a little different, but not too different.
But Mathematica's fonts only include symbols, Greek letters, and the
like. No doubt Times is typically used for Roman letters and numerals;
so are we to assume that the metrics used are based on Times Roman? And
if so, whose version of Times Roman? (This is something I tried long
ago to get a straight answer on -- and failed.)
I believe that much of the difficulty with typesetting in Mathematica
is that what you see on the screen is often not an accurate
representation of how a document will print out. Spacings are different
and lines break at different places at different magnifications.
Moreover, I have noticed on numerous occasions that simply closing and
reopening a notebook will cause on-screen spacings to appear
differently.
Here's another source of fun in Mac OS X: Spacing between words --
thus line breaks in text cells, and thus page breaks -- are not shown
correctly on-screen until after you do a Page Setup (or print). This
can lead to a great deal of aggravation until you get into the habit of
always doing a Page Setup upon opening a notebook.
Anyway ... I hope that all this complaining is pointless in light of
the vastly improved and completely rewritten 6.0 front end that's
coming soon. (Right?) :^)
-----
Selwyn Hollis
http://www.math.armstrong.edu/faculty/hollis
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