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Timothy Murphy <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 24 Jan 2003 14:12:36 +0000
text/plain (48 lines)
On Friday 24 January 2003 00:28, David Kastrup wrote:

> If you take a look at printed mathematics in journals, you'll find
> things like display equations spanning two of three columns.

I have just taken a look at some mathematical journals,
and none of them seemed to do anything like that.
They are all in fact excessively conservative (even by my standards),
particularly the German ones.
Which journal are you referring to?

>  I am just wondering why you are subscribed to this
> list when your opinion is that LaTeX should not be improved.

You are being disingenuous.
I am all in favour of improving LaTeX,
given that I think it is already pretty good,
due to the work of the LaTeX team over the years.

But what you are talking about is tinkering with the TeX engine
on which LaTeX runs.

I wouldn't even object to that in principle,
but it seems to me that it would be better
to make small changes, as and when they are clearly needed
and can be fully justified
_by added functionality that they give to the end user_.

For example, one issue that has often been raised
is the shortage of registers.
I haven't looked at tex.web carefully,
but on the face of it when Knuth says

@d box_base=toks_base+256 {table of 256 box registers}

it seems that one could increase the 256
without the heavens falling down.
(One might even ask Knuth if he would sanction
a general increase in register sizes,
though I recognise that he has a rather rigid approach
to changes in TeX.)

Timothy Murphy
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
tel: +353-86-233 6090
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland