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Math font group statement of purpose

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%%%  @LaTeX-file{
%%%     author          = "Alan Jeffrey",
%%%     version         = "0.03",
%%%     date            = "03 August 1993",
%%%     time            = "22:26:27 BST",
%%%     filename        = "mfgpurp.tex",
%%%     address         = "School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
%%%                        University of Sussex
%%%                        Brighton BN1 9QH
%%%                        UK",
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%%%     checksum        = "54448 146 646 5082",
%%%     email           = "alanje@cogs.sussex.ac.uk",
%%%     codetable       = "ISO/ASCII",
%%%     keywords        = "TeX fonts mathematics",
%%%     supported       = "yes",
%%%     abstract        = "This is a draft statement of purpose for the
%%%                        math font group.",
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\title{Math font group: statement of purpose}

\address{American Mathematical Society}

\address{University of Sussex}

\address{\LaTeX3 project}

\address{Open University}

\address{Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne}

\def\rtitlex{MFG discussion document}
\def\midrtitle{{\sl Statement of purpose\/}}




\section*{The math font group}

The math font group (MFG)
is a joint venture of the \LaTeX3 project and the \TUG\ Extended
Mathematics Font Encoding Technical Working Group.  This document

\item The {\em motivation\/} behind the MFG.
\item The {\em standards\/} the MFG proposes to introduce.
\item The {\em implementations\/} the MFG proposes to develop.



One of \TeX's strongest points is its ability to set mathematics.  There
has now been over ten years of experience typesetting mathematical
material with \TeX.  During this time, \TeX's math mode has been used to
set a wide variety of material, including traditional mathematics,
categorical diagrams, chemical reactions, computer programs and textual
material such as `$5\frac12\%$ of $\fam0M^{lle}$~Doe's bids were

In recent years, the fonts available for use in \TeX\ have radically
changed, with the arrival of the Cork standard for setting European Latin
languages, and the Virtual Font standard for using non-\MF\ fonts in

However, the Cork encoding requires new companion math fonts, and there
are a number of incompatible encodings for non-\MF\ math fonts.

The MFG believes that the time is ripe for a new math font
standard, that will act as a companion to the Cork encoding, and will
support non-\MF\ math fonts.

These standards are needed urgently, since they are a bottleneck for
other \TeX\ projects such as \LaTeX3 and the adoption of the Cork


The MFG intends to set a number of new standards for \TeX\
math fonts, including:

\item Standardizing an interface between \TeX\ and math fonts,
   specifying the minimum features each math font is expected to
   provide.  This will include glyph positions, ligtable information, and
   font dimensions.

\item Standardizing an interface between a \TeX\ user and a set of
   macros, specifying the minimum features a math macro package is
   expected to provide.  This will include control sequence names and
   font changing commands such as \verb|\boldsymbol|.

The interfaces will contain at least the functionality of \plain\ \TeX,
\LaTeX, \AmSTeX\ and \AmS-\LaTeX.


The MFG intends to deliver a number of tools to support the new
standards, including:

\item \MF\ programs containing shapes taken from Knuth's Computer Modern
   fonts, the AMS symbol fonts, the \LaTeX\ symbol font, and the
   St~Mary's Road font.

\item \TeX\ programs implementing the user interface for \plain\ \TeX\
   and \LaTeX.

\item Virtual font production tools for using \PS\ or other
   non-\MF\ fonts with the new encodings.

\item Test documents for checking whether fonts and macro packages
   conform to the standards, similar to Knuth's \verb|trip| test for \TeX.

These tools will allow existing and future \TeX\ documents to be
written with a number of new fonts supporting the new standards.