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JZ wrote (July 16):

> do people think that the \ell glyph should be kept, or do people think that we
> can keep the macro, and make it point to the round lowercase
> l in the script or cal fonts ?

I don't understand the purpose of the \ell glyph from a
mathematician's point of view. My conjecture: In ancient times
mathematicians had to use typewriters where lowercase Latin l was
indistinguishable from the numeral 1. So the mathematicians started to
use a `calligraphic' l to make the l-ness of the character more
apparent. If this is the only reason that mathematicians use \ell,
then it seems that two approaches are possible: (1) make sure the
lowercase ell's in math fonts are very distinctly different from the
numeral 1, and do not provide for \ell in the math font encoding; or
(2) accept the use of \ell as an established convention and provide
for it in the math font encoding. I would tend to favor (1) since \ell
seems too visually discordant a way to distinguish the l.

On the other hand, if my conjecture is wrong, I would like to see some
documentation of the mathematician's understanding of \ell added to
the documentation of the math font encoding, for the record.