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Re: preliminary EuroTeX paper

So there is indeed the possibility of adding the open brackets to MXP,
if we cut down the number of sizes for slash/backslash to 8 (like in yhmath)
and reduce the number of accents to 11. There would also be space in MC
to add the basic size open brackets. They could be placed around the #,
or alternatively, the daggers could be moved there to make room for the
open brackets next to the other delimiters.

> I think this might be a good idea, since the open brackets are present
> in cm, Lucida and MathTime (?), so we could avoid having an almost empty
> MX1-encoded font in all these encodings.
> What do you think ?

I would say that the existence in cm and lucida is a good criterion
for inclusion in MXP.  You do not say which large accents are
available in these two fonts (but I guess in the case of cm this is a
variable whose value could depend on what gets into MXP?).

> Another question for discussion: Is it really a good idea to have the
> double accents in MSP ? They will be missing in most implementations.

Why can you be so certain that they will be missing: I would think
that once the contents of MSP (and MXP) are decided this could
influence what is available, particularly in cm and, I hope, lucida.

> We might even consider dropping them altogether and rely on the amsmath
> approach to double accents. The code for that is already in newmath.sty
> and seems to work reliably (it is of course much slower than ready-made
> double accents).

I would not worry too much about the speed; so many math things are
slow.  This is not an argument for never having them as glyphs but if
it is generally agreed that the construction method produces reasonably
good output then it makes them a low priority; the class of people who
are concerned about such details tend not to be too worried about the
time taken to produce good output.  I am not sure how much `competition'
there is for slots in MSP but I would guess that there are symbols
with higher priority for one of these slots.

> Even if we decide keep the double accents somewhere
> (eg in MS1), we might rethink the choice of combinations: I would expect
> the double hat to be the most frequently used double accent, and it is
> not currently among the combinations in MSP. Does the AMS have statistics
> about the relative importance of double accents ?

I am not sure that the AMS is a very good source for this data since
accents are not so widely used in their type of maths as in some others.

As for statistics, that is an area where one expects to see these
two combinations:  \Bar \Hat and \Hat \Bar .

> Regarding the discussion on kerning between open and ord: One reason
> I could think of for TeX not to use kerning between open and ord would
> be the following: This would only improve the apprearance of the basic
> size delimiters, but not of the larger sizes.

But that is also true for kerning between ord and close or ord and
open, which TeX does support (although with the current encodings the
first of these is rarely used in traditional maths); with regard to
the latter, does cmr have kerns before <open-parenthesis> (OK, I know I
can look for myself but perhaps others on this list know the (V)PL
files by heart:-).

I had always assumed that the large delimiters have larger
side-bearings so that kerning is not so important.