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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: [mg65047] Re: General--Making the DisplayFormula style in ArticleModern look like Traditional
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 23:58:50 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 3/11/06 at 5:15 AM, paul at physics.uwa.edu.au (Paul Abbott) wrote:

>In article <durlbp$m3b$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
>Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at earthlink.net> wrote:

>>I doubt the need will ever vanish entirely as long as there are
>>hard copy texts.

>But many hard copy texts are now available online. For example,
>Abramowitz and Stegun is at

The existence of online resources really doesn't counter the point I was attempting to make. That is there is a need to hand input things into Mathematica and hand inputing things into Mathematica is much easier to do accurately when Mathematica's StandardForm is being used rather than TraditionalForm.

When things reach the point you mention below

>It will not be that long before the mathematics in such online texts 
>will be stored in a portable fashion (via MathML, say), so that you can 
>paste mathematical expressions directly into Mathematica. As you would 
>be aware, you can already paste TeX expressions into the front end. They 
>are not always interpreted correctly as Mathematica input, which is not 
>suprising, but often the resulting expression can be re-formatted so as 
>to be useful.

then the need to hand type things into Mathematica should vanish. But it seems to me that today we aren't very close to that point.

>>The choice of TraditionalForm versus StandardForm in the journal
>>really depends on the goals of the article. If the goal is to make
>>the mathematics as clear as possible to the widest possible
>>audience, then TraditionalForm is clearly the better choice. But
>>if the goal is to elucidate how a particular task can be done in
>>Mathematica, StandardForm is the better choice as it more clearly
>>shows the underlying Mathematica code.

>Like all language and programming issues, I think that your view on
>this topic depends upon your background and experience with the
>different formats.

I don't totally agree here. Yes, it is true the more experience you have with a given format the more comfortable you will be using it. But this doesn't alter the fact Mathematica's StandardForm more clearly displays Mathematica code than TraditionalForm. And the ambiguities inherent in TraditionalForm aren't present in StandardForm. Yes, the ambiguities in TraditionalForm are resolved by TagBox structures. But that information is hidden from anyone who doesn't have the Notebook.
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