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"Randolph J. Herber" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 08:46:34 -0500
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|Date:         Mon, 13 Oct 1997 13:06:34 +0200
|Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project
|From: Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
|Subject:      MILDLY OFF TOPIC (Was: [WILDLY OFF TOPIC] (LaTeX & email))
|To: Multiple recipients of list LATEX-L


| :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

|  Remember that the typeset output of TeX and LaTeX is the old times GUI;
|the only difference is that it is not interactive. In mathematics, one
|started to use that, because it can be used to better communicate the
|logical contents.

        One of the reasons that I like and use LaTeX (and sometimes
        even the underlying TeX) is that they are _not_ GUIs.  Rather,
        their _output_ is graphical in nature.  They work quite well
        on my ancient, non-GUI computer systems.  They work quite well
        in a similar manner, without wasting extensive computer resources
        continually updating a WYSIWYG graphics display, on my SGI
        workstation at work.

|  So, if you hate GUI's so much, why do not strip all that graphical out of
|TeX and LaTeX too; it would simplify the discussions in this group
|enormously -- they would not be needed. :-)

        Just as GUI interfaces are not needed and in my case not wanted
        for the input side of LaTeX and Tex, GUIs are inappropriate for
        electronic mail when those GUIs prevent access to the content
        for some of the audience.

        Sweden has been for quite some time a leader in adapting public
        systems, such as electronic mail and public sidewalks, so that
        they are accessable and usable by all.

        The request for text lines of less than 80 characters is similar
        in spirit to a request to place wheelchair ramps onto sidewalks
        at intersections.

        I would prefer that extensive mark-up language be left out of
        electronic mail messages.  Sometimes some mark up is necessary
        to facilitate making one's point.

        The issues of quoted-printable and base 64 encoding are separate;
        but related issues.  The electronic mail systems were designed
        in North America using the _7-bit_ ASCII character which has little
        to no provision for national characters of many languages using
        Latin characters and no provision whatsoever for languages which
        require wider characters.  Please remember that some 7-bit links
        still exist and are in use.  It is for these reasons that quoted-
        printable (the form with all the equal signs) and base 64 encoding
        (the form that resembles line noise) which are the MIME encodings
        that permit the transport of electronic mail over such 7-bit
        communications links without damage.  They were designed to permit
        the safe transport of electronic mail over communications links
        that were designed for North American communication needs.  MIME
        is the ``wheelramps'' for these nation languages.

        The electronic mail standards are being changed to permit the
        safe transport of 8-bit electronic mail which will the tranport
        of most non ideographic languages directly.  Then the ``only''
        problem will be the generation and display of these messages.

| :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

|  Hans Aberg
|                  * AMS member listing: <>
|                  * Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Randolph J. Herber, [log in to unmask], +1 630 840 2966,
CD/OSS/CDF CDF-PK-149F Mail Stop 318
Fermilab, Kirk & Pine Rds., P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510-0500.
(Speaking for myself and not for US, US DOE, FNAL nor URA.)
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