> On Fri, 5 Dec 1997, Phillip Helbig wrote:
> > [...] The
> > differences between different journals, not only regarding references,
> > and the fierceness with which they say they will reject anything which
> > does not conform (though this might not be true in practice) are
> > amazing, especially considering how unimportant such things should be.
> They are NOT unimportant. A consistent and aesthetically pleasant look
> for a journal, that is unique enough to make it readily recognizable, is
> a must. Too bad typography becomes a lost art nowadays...
Sorry, I couldn't agree more---I realise I misphrased what I said above.
What you said applies to the LOOK of the journal, and this should be as
the journal likes it, and indeed the strength of LaTeX, if used
properly, allows this presentation to be achieved while the author
concentrates on content.
However, to produce, in many cases, essentially the same content, it
seems absurd to require completely different mechanisms to produce
them---here a .cls, there an option to a standard .cls, here this
variation on \cite, there another (incompatible) one, some encouraging
BibTeX, some discouraging it, and even the author isn't allowed to make
this easier on himself by coding such differences as macros which can be
redefined to have whatever behaviour is needed, as such own macros are
also discouraged if not forbidden.
I think that standardised journal macros would allow journals to become
more unique---part of the move to standardise journal PRESENTATION, as
with some astronomical journals, was probably due to the fact that the
authors themselves are forced to code presentation which is properly
managed from somewhere else.
Phillip Helbig Email .......... [log in to unmask]
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories Tel. ..... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297)
Jodrell Bank Fax ................. +44 1477 571 618
Macclesfield Telex ................. 36149 JODREL G
UK-Cheshire SK11 9DL Web .... http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~pjh/
My opinions are not necessarily those of NRAL or the University of Manchester.