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Re: Re: Mathematica notebooks the best method

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg87048] Re: [mg87025] Re: [mg86975] Mathematica notebooks the best method
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 01:16:15 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <fsd6lf$9fn$> <fsg6t7$jdd$> <> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

djvu vs. pdf: no big deal.  Tex vs. Mathematica: BIG deal!

With djvu and pdf, it's merely a matter of the final format in which the 
document appears and is disseminated.

With (La)TeX and Mathematica, there's a crucial difference in the entire 
authoring process.  Among other things:

   (1) (La)TeX concentrates upon the logical structure of the document, 
whereas Mathematica from the start involves the actual appearance of the 

   (2) Typing math markup is typically quicker in (La)TeX than in 
Mathematica, as it avoids Control-key sequences (unless one is using an 
editor where such sequences are used as shortcuts) or at least uses 
shorter keystroke-only sequences.

   (3) Mathematica allows live calculations in the document itself, 
whereas TeX does not (except of the most primitive kind).  Exception: a 
specialized TeX+CAS system.

   (4) Mathematica creates graphics of all sorts directly in the 
document, whereas with the exception of a limited number of native or 
package add-on graphics types, graphics must be imported into a TeX 
document from an external source (such as Mathematica)!

There are two other another differences:

   (5) One can have an entire TeX document preparation system -- editor, 
TeX engine plus packages, viewer, and converter (dvi to ps or pdf, e.g.) 
-- for free.  Needless to say, Mathematica is not free.

   (6) The source code for TeX and many or most of the supporting 
utilities is open source; this is certainly not the case for Mathematica.

Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
> ...I would like to point out that "publishing standards" are not  
> set in stone. For several years I have witnessed PDF visibly loosing  
> ground to djvu in the mathematical preprint area. I like with many  
> other things I learned about it first form students, who quickly  
> understood its technical superiority over PDF (most of all, much  
> smaller file size). Now I see that a number of on-line mathematics  
> journals are offering djvu as an alternative to pdf.

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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