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Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 14:11:42 -0500
Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: Mark Doyle <[log in to unmask]>
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On Friday, January 24, 2003, at 10:30  AM, Peter Breitenlohner wrote:

> One important such (physics) journal with display equations spanning
> two of
> three columns is Phys.Rev. (published by APS).

Actually, it is a two column format with wide equations that span both

>  Moreover they sometimes
> change the number of columns at such a display;


>  all that is achieved by
> their 'revtex' documentclass (standard LaTeX).

REVTeX 3 didn't do so well here, especially when it comes to figure
REVTeX 4 which is built for LaTeX 2e uses Art Ogawa's ltxgrid package
of the REVTeX 4 distribution) to hack around in the LaTeX 2e kernel in
to get fairly good results. But it is quite difficult and debugging all
of the corner
cases for column balancing was quite hairy. Also, there are simplifying
which aren't really desirable such as losing vertical space above a
section heading
when rebalancing the columns. It would be great if whatever new kernel
comes out has more hooks for doing these kinds of things in a robust
way. I am not a TeX developer so I don't know the full details. I just
know the hurdles Art ran into while implementing our requirements.

> As for the virtue of such things: I personally find then hard to read.

Me too, but it does save paper and it has become Phys. Rev's branding
which remains important to authors. In fact, when we introduced an
online-only journal (Phys. Rev. Spec. Topics - Accel. and Beams),
the editors basically demanded that it still use the two column format
though it is suboptimal for online reading.


Mark Doyle
Manager, Product Development
The American Physical Society