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Re: Suggestions

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  • Subject: [mg111613] Re: Suggestions
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 01:33:14 -0400 (EDT)

First, one can never tell ahead of time what might emerge in a 
subsequent version!

Second, as to size of typeset fractions: the often unpleasant small size 
is akin to the default behavior the "gold standard" of mathematical 
typesetting, namely, LaTeX. There the size of fractions in in-line math 
automatically shrinks, but if you want to resize it larger, you can 
explicitly do so by inserting a markup command to say to use display 
style, which sets numerator and denominator in normal size -- with the 
result, of course, that the line with such an in-line fraction becomes 
higher than normal and extra inter-line leading has to be introduced 
(automatically), which can lead to unpleasant results.

(So what mechanism would you want to control fraction size, and how 
would you want the inter-line spacing to be handled. (AFAIK, Mathematica 
does not a distinction between typesetting in-line math and display math.)

Third, as to indicating where an error is: perhaps part of the 
difficulty here the very syntax of Mathematica. Syntactical scanning of 
an expression is not such a simple thing. Here I contrast with J or APL, 
where there is a fairly strict left-to-right or right-to-left 
syntactical scanning, so that it is essentially trivial to determine 
where an error occurs.

On 8/6/2010 6:56 AM, S. B. Gray wrote:
> This was posted in 2003:
> "Selwyn Hollis"<selwynh at>  wrote in message
> news:bgcupq$9qi$1 at
>   >  >  Print preview should certainly be near the top of any wish list. (But
>   >  >  if you're fortunate enough to have a Mac w/OS X, printing to PDF is
>   >  >  almost as good.)
>   >  >
>   >  >  To any such wish list I'd also add, in no particular order:
>   >  >
>   >  >  * antialiasing of graphics!!
>   >  >  * flexible top/bottom cell margins
>   >  >  * serious undo functionality
>   >  >  * real unicode support (on the Mac anyway)
>   >  >  * better find/replace (e.g., replace all in selection)
>   >  >  * robust import of eps and pdf graphics
>   >  >  * less need for tweaking to make expressions look right; namely:
>   >  >        ** better typesetting of fractions (size should not be connected
>   >  >  to sub/superscript multiplier)
>   >  >** more consistent and reliable placement of sub/superscripts
>   >  >** more consistent and reliable spacing
>   >  >** more consistent and reliable sizing of summation and integral signs
> To which I would add:
> 1. Make word wrap work in a rational way. At present, it sucks.
> 2. Allow noncontiguous selection of text like MS Word (finally) does
> 3. Get a text menu displayed, again like MS Word
> 4. Allow making actual margins around graphics variable
> 5. Make the cell properties more visible (the stripes on the right edge)
> 7. MAKE THE ERROR MESSAGES USEFUL(Mathematica knows where the error is; why
> doesn't it tell you?)
> 8. Give some indication that Wolfram listens to its customers.
> 9. I expect a certain number of these suggestions and Hollis' to be
> acted on, namely zero.
> Steve Gray

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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