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**To**:*math-font-discuss@cogs.susx.ac.uk***Subject**:**the check sign****From**:*Jim.Davies@prg.oxford.ac.uk***Date**: Fri, 6 Aug 93 13:39:54 BST

In response to Barbara and Justin's request: It's obvious that TeX users working in different fields and subfields will have different requirements and expectations. For example, we could draw a distinction between those who require multi-letter identifiers in math mode (theoretical computer scientists) and those who like their math characters spaced (mathematicians). Furthermore, the Euler fonts are regarded as essential by a third of our department (Numerical Analysis and Mathematical Modelling) but irrelevant by the other two thirds (Programming Research Group, Requirements Engineering). To place my remarks about symbol usage in context, I should point out that almost everything I set using TeX is "theoretical computer science". The check symbol is used in Communicating Sequential Processes, a notation for describing the behaviour of distributed systems. I will admit that it rarely appears as a script symbol outside CSP. But it's very useful as a decoration: A^\tick or A_\tick do not carry the same connotations as A^*, A^+ and can thus be used in the theory of your choice without people saying "ah, closure". That said, I'm not too bothered about "special interest" symbols like check, I was merely pointing out that I use them. I'm more interested in symbols like \lefttriangle and \righttriangle, which are very widely used (and lhd and rhd are dreadful kludges, so God bless the AMSfonts), and -- above all -- the provision of ARROWS. I've just read Alan's document, and I would like to stand right behind him. I've got to set a chapter on timed transition systems this month, and I'm not happy about the current arrow provision (it's not much better in Lucidaworld, sadly). While we're at it, the world is full of people bemoaning the lack of a big square cap. And also the following emphatic brackets: [| |] -- semantic brackets (almost universal) (| |) -- relational image (in Z) {| |} -- bag symbol (some dialects of CSP) <| |> -- bindings (in Z) I'm sure that these four are used elsewhere with different meanings, they are pleasing to the eye (and obvious choices for new delimiters). I don't have an opinion upon extensibility of these (Alan?). If anyone wants references, perhaps the best reference for CSP symbols (a superset of the current collection) is my "Specification and Proof in Real-time CSP", Cambridge University Press 1993 (ISBN 0 521 45055 1). This was all TeX/LaTeX (I didn't have CorelDraw then), using the two AMS fonts, a special purpose CSP font, a couple of hacked sansserif text fonts, and the usual collection of LaTeX/TeX families. Decent paper, 1200dpi. Oh, alright. So you're unlikely to respond to such an obvious plug. But I couldn't resist it. Here's a more reasonable suggestion: use the ftp server here (ftp.comlab.ox.ac.uk, IP 192.76.25.2) to grab the file CSP/Papers/history.ps (300dpi dvips output) and check it out. That's enough about me, I think. :^) Jim

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