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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Apr 1997 11:39:09 +0200
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At 09:21 97-04-17, Robin Fairbairns wrote:

[Regrading developing new math fonts/glyphs]

>The chances of anyone doing more than synthesis are small: J"org
>Knappen, for example, has dedicated a lot of effort to improving and
>extending the DC, TC, and now the EC fonts, but is he going to be
>willing to go on and upward to the huge area of maths encodings?  If
>not him, who?
>The real problem is that Metafont experts are few and far between;
>designers who are also such experts are even rarer.  And designers,
>anyway, have this tendency to want to be paid for the work they do
>while we're a small community that tends not to have money to throw

  It strikes me that one could devlop math fonts/glyphs in line with the
LaTeX principle of structured manuswriting, which could help such a
development process:

  If you write a paper with say a Levi-Civita connection, then the best way
is to first make a macro-name, say \LC, \LeviCivita, or \connection, or
something, which could expand to any makeshift symbol. At a later point,
one could substitute something better (like
or something).

  This sort of follows the same principle as typing \em for emphasis, or
the principles for choosing an international set of characters. (One
difference thou, is that new math concepts are being invented, so one would
need pay special attention to that.)

  TeX consists of a jumble of these two different ideas, selecting a glyph,
that is a typeset output, and choosing a semantically correct typing input.
=46or example $\emptyset$ produces a specific rendering of the empty set
symbol, but now, there is another AMS-fonts alternative, $\varnothing$. So
here one should really have one name for the empty set concept, and then
one could choose rendering of it.

  This sort of bring us back to ideas presented here earlier, by J=F6rg
Knappen, Barbara Beeton, and others, (discussions about standard for gcd,
differentials, etc) but then it was not very explicit. Has one discussed of
introducing such a feature in the LaTeX3 project?

  Hans Aberg