Sat, 26 May 2001 20:39:29 +0200
At 06.05 +0200 2001-05-25, Phil Parker wrote:
>On 05/21/2001 at 11:20 PM, Lars Hellström <[log in to unmask]>
>>At least about this aspect of it we can do something. The guidance given
>>by LaTeX manuals and the like on what is sensible and what is not is, in
>>this area, rather important.
>It may be important to LaTeX designers, but it is totally irrelevant to
>working mathematicians, who will use whatever symbols they deem
>appropriate with no deference to anyone else's notions of propriety.
I my experience, people don't always have that clear ideas about what
notation to use (at least when it comes to new notation---old notation is
another matter); often the ideas aren't any clearer than "something
triangular". In _those_ cases, which are what I was thinking of when I
wrote the above, most people start looking through the tables in "A not so
short introduction to LaTeX" (or whatever they use as first reference) to
see if they find something fitting the description.
>Collaborations have been known to spend more time arguing about notation
>than proving theorems.
I haven't seen that myself, but I believe you.
>As for examples, they exist -- I've seen more than one. If you haven't,
>and don't want to take anyone's word for their existence, then it is
>entirely appropriate that you spend the time and effort looking for them.
Do you realize that you are advocating "proof by authority" (or worse:
"proof by claim", the academic cousin of "guilty by suspicion") here?! The
normal practice in a scientific debate is that if anyone makes a claim and
someone else requests the proof for that claim then these proofs should be
produced (or the claim withdrawn) by the one who made the claim, not vice