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From: "Anthony J. Bentley" <>
To: Ingo Schwarze <>
Subject: Re: Rendering of math symbols in ASCII mode
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:27:00 -0600	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Ingo,

Thanks for the thoughts.

Ingo Schwarze writes:
> > .EQ
> > roman erf ( x ) = 2 over {sqrt pi} int sub 0 sup x e sup {- t sup 2} dt
> > .EN
> Why roman?  Aren't function names usually set italic in mathematic
> papers?

My impression is that single-letter functions are italic but words are
roman. I've formatted that way since reading this in the TeXBook several
years ago:

"The names of algebraic variables are usually italic or Greek letters,
but common mathematical functions like 'log' are always set in roman

Reading it again, I'm not sure what qualifies as a "common" function.
Briefly browsing the dusty TAOCP from my shelf just now, I encountered
several italicized single-character function names, several romanized
multi-character function names, and no contrary examples.

> Currently, words like "integral" are translated to character escape
> sequences by the parser, independent of the output format.  Moving
> that translation to the formatters in order to avoid it for -Tascii
> would cause code duplication because several formatters need the
> same translation: -Tutf8, -Tpdf, -Thtml...

Indeed, that would be ugly.

> Multi-character descriptive renderings cause a problem with
> spacing.  For example, rendering
>   \[sr]2\[mo]R
> as
>   sqrt2element ofR
> is not very readable.

Nitpick: \(sr is not the right way to do square roots in eqn(7).
The sqrt keyword will wrap in parentheses. (But I get your point.)

> For some character escape sequences that render to nothing in
> groff -Tascii, i decided to use descriptive renderings
> enclosed in angle brackets in the past:
> 	\(sc	<sec>	SECTION SIGN
> 	\(de	<deg>	DEGREE SIGN
> 	\(ps	<par>	PILCROW SIGN
> Do you consider that desirable for cases like the above, too?

Indeed, I think this is a sensible and readable way to go for -Tascii,
particularly for characters likely to be used in eqn(7).

Anthony J. Bentley
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  reply	other threads:[~2017-06-20  4:27 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2017-06-19  0:04 Anthony J. Bentley
2017-06-19 17:06 ` Ingo Schwarze
2017-06-20  4:27   ` Anthony J. Bentley [this message]
2017-06-20 16:44     ` Ingo Schwarze

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