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MathGroup Archive 2006

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

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg64919] Re: General--Making the DisplayFormula style in ArticleModern look like Traditional
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 06:12:41 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 3/6/06 at 5:02 AM, paul at physics.uwa.edu.au (Paul Abbott) wrote:

>In article <du83gf$stn$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
>Daniel Lichtblau <danl at wolfram.com> wrote:

>>In a notebook, yes. If one knows what to do to address it e.g.
>>with TagBoxes (I do not). 

>You _never_ need to enter the TagBoxes by hand. As explained in
>both TMJ columns referenced above, correctly formatted
>TraditionalForm expressions _should_ result from converting
>StandardForm or InputForm to TraditionalForm. If this conversion is
>not faithful then it is a Mathematica bug!

Assume for the moment, Mathematica is entirely bug free with respect to converting StandardForm to TraditionalForm. The net effect of this conversion is to create (in many cases) nicer looking output at the cost of obscuring the needed input.

For many widely used functions, the traditional form is seems to be a more compact notation, more easily understood and easily mentally translated to StandardForm. But Mathematica handles a wide variety of functions. And some of those functions typeset in traditional form are not widely used and are unfamiliar to someone outside a particular field where it is commonly used. For such functions, given there is no simple direct way to input the function in TraditionalForm, there isn't any simple way to use Mathematica's help browser to look up details of the function.

>>But not all readers will have access to, let alone use, the
>>electronic form. 

>I thought that all readers of TMJ had access to the Notebooks. Is
>that not correct?

No, that assumption is not correct. If all readers of TMJ did have access to the Notebooks or were reading the electronic version within Mathematica, there wouldn't be much issue.

For myself, I've come to prefer StandardForm as the default input form and TraditionalForm as the default output form. Occasionally, when I need to share something with a colleague who doesn't use Mathematica, I convert input cells to TradiationalForm. But I really see no benefit to having the default input set to TraditionalForm nor taking time to convert StandardForm to TradiationalForm in notebooks I create for myself.
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