> > but isn't this ambiguity already present anyway in TeX? and those
> > interfaces have to deal with it? E.g., if you write 1+2 without
> > explicitly marking it as a math formula you get a text string 1+2 not
> > $1+2$
> Whether or not text is in math mode is an important authoring issue
> that requires explicit author indication.
that's what i was trying to say, didn't I? the ambiguity is already there and
therefore needs explicit author indication already now.
> For example:
> Everyone knows that the 2 most important numbers are $0$ and $1$\@[log in to unmask]
> But inasmuch as LaTeX does not come with its own fonts, it seems to me
> that the pragmatic thing would be to provide dual handling of \alpha
> etc. when possible with the fonts at hand and unified handling otherwise.
the problem that I think you are underestimating is that there is far more to
math then unicode code point specification. Unicode has the unfortunate
believe that if two distinct character that by default "look" the same could
very well be presented by the same unicode code point. this is not the case as
there is additional sematic information to the glyph which makes them from the
language "mathematics" different characters.
this is also true for some natural languages which got some of their code
points being scattered around just because a few of their characters
already appeared in some legacy keyboard encoding
so if i say \foo in math i do not only denote a unicode char but also its
mathematical type, eg, this is a relation or a binary operator or ... so the
same glyph might have different representations and only a single one of those
could be represented if you would try to make \alpha and \textalpha being
addressed by a single command.
> P.S. I assume that this discussion, which began with your questions
> about changing over to the T1 fontenc, is about LaTeX3 and not about
> the next 2E (unless the next 2E is to be 3).
it is mostly about 2e* or 2e+ in my book, ie the collection of packages
starting with x... which are currently being added to the project web
site. they run on top of 2e but once being stable and forming a whole might as
well provide the conceptual basis for a final kernel rewrite. at least this is
my view right now.