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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Johannes Kuester <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 12:18:48 +0200
<[log in to unmask]> from "Tobias Burnus" at Jun 27, 97 11:14:21 am
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (42 lines)
> Avan Suinesiaputra wrote:

> > Anyway, I found an inconvenient using paragraph on LaTeX 2e. Everytime I
> > begin a new paragraph after sectioning command (\chapter, \section, etc.),
> > it isn't indented. But next paragraphs after it, they are indented. I don't
> > know which standard it is.

[Tobias Burnus]

> This ist standard; the most designer belive that this looks better.

Although this doesn't seem to belong to this list (sorry, I don't have
the address for the correct LaTeX list at hand), the historic
background for this practice is the following:

In manuscripts new paragraphs were marked by the paragraph symbol
(\P in TeX i think -- I never use that), often drawn in color. Therefore
the writer left some blank space, to be filled with this symbol
when the manuscript was illuminated (i.e. illustrated, colorated etc.)
later on, often by someone else.

The early printers sometimes put in this symbol just in black like
ordinary text, sometimes left blank space for later illumination.
When illumination was dropped later on (obviously it was too costly
when printing many copies), the blank space remained.

After a section this space is not neccessary, as it
is clear that a new paragraph starts. Manuscripts and early prints
didn't start here with a paragraph symbol but with a starting letter,
often in a larger size and often richly illuminated. So, using
\usepackage{indentfirst} is a bit ahistoric (on the contrary, using
no indentation at all is really bad practice)


Johannes Kuester                    [log in to unmask]

Zentrum Mathematik
Technische Universitaet Muenchen