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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Re: Re: General--Making the DisplayFormula style in ArticleModern look like Traditional

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg64718] Re: [mg64696] Re: General--Making the DisplayFormula style in ArticleModern look like Traditional
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at physics.uwa.edu.au>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2006 04:11:38 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <dthhpd$nhn$1@smc.vnet.net> <200602230535.AAA13302@smc.vnet.net> <dtm6bo$hk2$1@smc.vnet.net> <200602280649.BAA17588@smc.vnet.net> <440464A0.3070001@wolfram.com>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 28/2/06, Daniel Lichtblau wrote:

>Traditional form is intrinsically ambiguous. Some of these things 
>can be fixed, but not all (ergo, not all are bugs). This format 
>should not be used for input.

No -- all of these things can be fixed (via appropriate TagBoxes).

>Let me elaborate on one remark above. TraditionalForm is not exactly 
>"available as a Mathematica input form". It is available, period. 
>Which is to say, it is there, and in principle can be used for any 
>type of cell, including Input. But it should not be used in that 
>particular setting, because it is ambiguous.

Not with TagBoxes.

>There are other reasons I vastly prefer StandrdForm in Input cells. 
>But ambiguity, unlike my opinions, is a matter of hard unavoidable 
>fact. It is the solid basis for the claim that TraditionalForm 
>should not be used in that particular setting.

Amusing -- but ambiguity _is_ avoidable.

>Let me put it this way. Mathematica uses square brackets instead of 
>parentheses for procedure invocation (more correctly, XXXValues). 
>This is by intent and for a compelling reason. While one can and 
>should use traditional formatting in the context of mathematical 
>exposition, actual code is not the place to reintroduce the 
>ambiguities that the language design rather specifically avoids.

I disagree with the thrust of your argument.

>Coincidently, last night I received a notebook that appears to 
>indicate a speed bump in some integer arithmetic code. The function 
>and tests are presented in TraditionalForm. It is taking me longer 
>than it ought to pare down the problem because reformatting is not 
>working very well (which may be a bug) and I cannot otherwise 
>isolate the slow spot. My point is that this isn't an abstraction; 
>use of TraditionalForm in input has real costs to productivity.

Again I disagree. Select all input cells and do a "Convert to 
StandardForm". This should not take long, and will, I'm sure, make 
you feel more comfortable.

If the conversion is not correct then there is a problem (a bug) with 
the Mathematica implementation of TraditionalForm. Essentially, the 
necessary TagBoxes required to make the conversion unambiguous must 
be missing.

Cheers,
Paul


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