At 09:30 +0000 1998/12/01, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>again, one would like to hear chapter and verse on this. i am by
>nature suspicious, and cannot offhand think of much that a
>`professional body' has done, unless you refer to the AMS? are they a
>professional body? in this capacity i classify them simply as a publisher.
The AMS, American Mathematical Society, is of course what its names
implies, an US association of (pure) mathematicians, and its publishing and
TeX activities are just side effects of its responsibilities as an
association of serving the mathematicians. It is mainly an organization of
"pure" mathematicians, as there are other organizations in the US for the
"applied" mathematicians. The AMS has also much served as the organization
for international mathematicians (as far as I know there is no truly
international organization for mathematicians).
There is a strong individualistic tradition among mathematicians, for
example, in older times, some mathematicians avoided getting a Ph D because
they felt it sufficed relying on the reputation among other mathematicians.
(And this tradition can cause problems today, as outsiders do not
So the mathematicians are by tradition very unorganized, but the AMS comes
as close as there can be for a professional organization representing them.
>who makes TeX accessible? `professional bodies'? like h@ll they do.
So, if one should take a mathematicians perspective, then TeX is already as
accessible as it can be: It is about as accessible as math, and is spread
in about the same way as math. :-)
There is a spin-off in terms of LaTeX and other macro packages that can
serve other groups as well, but I do not think that was the original
* Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
* Home Page: <http://www.matematik.su.se/~haberg/>
* AMS member listing: <http://www.ams.org/cml/>