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At 10:13 +0000 2001/02/12, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>> If one carries out your argument, then there should be no math environment.
>
>here we go again.
>
>we _can't_ do without a maths environment, because tex is coded in
>such a way that it's as near absolutely essential as makes no
>difference.

This is exactly my point: Because of the lousy parsing of the computer
programs, one is forced to do markup, so that they can get the information.

>... i would fight hard indeed against your crazy suggestion that
>we need to mark up (for example) quantities written numerically
>
> "... there are between three and \mathematicalnumber{20} of these
>      creatures, according to the time of day..."
>
>complete lunacy, imo.

What about
 "... there are between three and \absolutelynomarkupwhatsoever{20} of these
      creatures, according to the time of day..."
-- Long names make anything look useless. :-)

-- Again, if there was a better parser at hand, one would not need to have
any markup at all, because it would be able to see that `20' is the object
of type "number" and that `gamma + 1' is a mathematical expression. One
problem with TeX is that it does not have such parsing capabilities, and
that it is not possible to create well such objects, which could be later
used to determine the rendering style. (Like saying that single number
objects should be typeset in the text font, whereas math expression should
be typeset in the math mode.)

  Hans Aberg