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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 19:34:44 +0100
text/plain (70 lines)
  I will try to bend this onto the LaTeX3 topic:

Phillip Helbig <[log in to unmask]>:
>Reality means work must be published, and a
>journal has a right to present all articles with a uniform look and
>>   In general, I think authors would be expected to write scientific papers
>> in an acceptable scientific style of their choice; if the journal then
>> wants to alter that style, they should engage its own personnel.
>Either one would have a hodge-podge of different styles or the journals
>would be too expensive.

  I was careful speaking about the authors scientific style, which should
not be confused with the idea of a journal style. I think in the LaTeX3
project these two different entities must be kept apart as much as
possible, and interface where they do intersect. This will maximize both
authors personal styles and journal styles.

>I think that the disadvantages of NOT conforming to journal
>specifications FAR outweigh the advantages TO THE AUTHOR.  Consider a
>highly technical paper with perhaps lots of equations.  Unless the
>typesetter UNDERSTANDS the material, changing the style might make it
>more difficult to understand.

  So the problem is not "Should there be journal styles that authors must
conform to?", but "How do we make journal and author styles interface and
exist independently of each other?".

>I agree about the subordination, but I don't think the solution is to
>submit something in a completely different format and let the journal
>worry about it.

  We are not really discussing the idea of formats, since that probably is
something that journals should override, but rather the tendency of
journals (and editors and referees) interfering with things they should not.

>.. The journals can have their style AND not bother the
>authors if they implement are common journal macros when they've been
>> changed). In fact, I think the AMS packages had to implement special
>> commands in order to accomodate this common mathematical style, because
>> LaTeX does not permit it.
>Use displaymath instead of equation to get a non-numbered one.

>One can handle the spelling, but not the choice of words or grammar.
>The only real solution is to accept ANY standard dialect or to force
>everyone to use `real' English.  Either is OK by me:)

  In part the problem you have surprises me, because there are a lot of
talented mathematicians with shaky English, and I generally try to
understand their mathematics, rather than requiring that they use a
particular English dialect before I try to understand their mathematics. I
understand that is not so in many applied sciences, where the style is used
as an argument for not accepting a paper. To me, it is like saying that the
Wright brothers were not first with controlled flight because their style
was not satisfactory. It is obvious this is not good for science.

>Well, as Woody Allen said, I hate reality, but it's the only place where
>I can get a decent steak.

  Well, Woody Allen ate a lot of steak without worrying about ethics, until
it became indecent. :-)

  Hans Aberg
                  * Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
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