# Re: v. 0.58 / eurotex

• To: Ulrik Vieth <vieth@thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de>
• Subject: Re: v. 0.58 / eurotex
• From: Barbara Beeton <bnb@ams.org>
• Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 08:03:48 -0400 (EDT)
• Cc: ion@math.ams.org, Barbara Beeton <bnb@ams.org>

ulrik,
i've done a quick reading and copyediting of your report, and am
attaching the updated version.  any line that i've changed has
been commented out and is followed by the changed version.  most
changes are corrections of typos, but there are also a few changes
of wording that you may or may not agree to.  there are also a few
more substantive comments, all beginning with  %% bb --  ; you

i suggest that if you agree with a change, just remove the line
that's commented out to clean up the file.  if you have any
questions, let me know, and i'll explain my rationale.

we're having a rather major meeting today about the stix project;
i'm planning to circulate your report along with our own for
information in that context (thanks for such a good job -- it
made ours much easier) -- talked with patrick, and he agreed this
would be a good idea.  our own report, re stix, is mainly the
identification of potential additional sources of cooperation in
compiling the stix character list.

i was going to hold off sending this edited copy of your report
until after our meeting, but your message to taco made me think
that sooner would be better than later.

i didn't change your "summary and conclusions" -- "what to say
here?"  i think that it would be reasonable to list the various
fronts on which activity will continue separately -- stix, taco's
work, announcement and dissemination of the 8-bit fonts for latex
to permit more general experimentation, the need for a plain
interface -- and reiterate the idea that work and communication
will continue on the math-font-discuss list.  but other people
may have better ideas.
cheers.						-- bb
--------------------

%%% ====================================================================
%%%  @TeX-file{
%%%     author          = "Ulrik Vieth",
%%%     email           = "vieth@thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de",
%%%     filename        = "mfg-rep.tex",
%%%     version         = "0.01",
%%%     date            = "02 April 1998",
%%%     time            = "19:06:27 MET DST",
%%%     checksum        = "51515 240 1411 10107",
%%%     codetable       = "ISO/ASCII",
%%%     keywords        = "EuroTeX 98, STIX, MathML, math symbol fonts",
%%%     supported       = "yes",
%%%     abstract        = "",
%%%     docstring       = "The checksum field above contains a CRC-16
%%%                        checksum as the first value, followed by the
%%%                        equivalent of the standard UNIX wc (word
%%%                        count) utility output of lines, words, and
%%%                        characters.  This is produced by Robert
%%%                        Solovay's checksum utility.",
%%%  }
%%% ====================================================================
\documentclass[preprint]{ltugboat}
\usepackage{url}
\overfullrule0pt

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\title{Summary of math font activities at~Euro\TeX~'98}
\author{Math Font Working Group}

\def\rtitlex{MFG discussion document}
\setcounter{page}{1}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

\section{Introduction}

The subject of math symbol fonts has been one of the major topics of
interest at the 10th European \TeX{} Conference (Euro\TeX~'98), which
was held on March~29--31, 1998 at St.~Malo, France as part of the
%Week on Electronic Publishing and Typorgraphy (\acro{WEPT}~'98).
Week on Electronic Publishing and Typography (\acro{WEPT}~'98).

During the conference a paper summarizing the activities of the Math
Font Group (\acro{MFG}) was presented by Ulrik Vieth and two
\acro{BOF} sessions on math fonts were held, bringing together members
of the working groups and other interested parties, such as
representatives of publishers and typesetters.

In addition, there were many private discussions on math fonts at
%lunches, dinners, and at informal get-togethers in the local pubs.
lunches, dinners, and at informal get-togethers in the local caf\'es.

%% bb -- the space around these items does stand out rather much
%%       relative to other vertical white space on the page; guess
%%       i should look into ltugboat.cls ...
The discussions at the \acro{BOF} sessions primarily revolved around
two major topics:
\begin{itemize}
\item the organization of math symbols in general, including their
representation on the \acro{WWW},
%\item the developement and implementation of new 8-bit math fonts for
\item the development and implementation of new 8-bit math fonts for
\AllTeX{} in particular.
\end{itemize}

\section{Organization of math symbols}

On the first topic, Barbara Beeton and Patrick Ion of the \acro{AMS}
provided some information on the so-called \acro{STIX} project, which
%is driven by a group of scientifc and technical publishers
is driven by a group of scientific and technical publishers
(\acro{STIPUB}).

So far, the primary goal of \acro{STIX} project has been to compile a
%comprehensive list of \emph{all} math symbols (including what many
comprehensive list of \emph{all} math symbols used by the participating
publishers (including what many
%people might call the unreasonable'' ones), to document their
people might call unreasonable'' ones), to document their
%intended meanings, and to examples of their use in support of an
intended meanings, and to provide examples of their use in support of an
application to the Unicode Consortium and the \acro{ISO} working group
on coding standards.

A preliminary list of symbols has already been submitted to Unicode in
March~1998, but it appears that there are quite a few symbols that
have been missed, so the Unicode submission will have to be followed
up when more material is available.

Apart from collecting a comprehensive list of math symbols, there is a
commitment to produce a high-quality font set implementing all the
%symbols in Type~1 format, which should be freely-distributable.  It is
symbols in Type~1 format, which should be freely distributable.  It is
hoped that the availability of such a font set will be a crucial step
to help promote the use of MathML on the World Wide Web without being
restricted to the symbol complement of the system fonts.

Information about the current list of symbols collected by the \acro{STIX}
project currently resides on password-protected internal pages at
%% bb -- if they're password-protected, doesn't make much sense to
%%       include the url; but we think we'll be able to do better --
%%       more later.
\begin{quote}
\texttt{http://www.ams.org/STIX/}
\end{quote}
%There a plans to release a printable version of these tables in
There are plans to release a printable version of these tables in
\acro{PDF} format to the general public shortly.

As co-chair of the W3C MathML working group, Patrick Ion also pointed
out that a version of the MathML specification including the symbol
tables is available in \acro{PDF} format at
\begin{quote}
\texttt{http://www.w3.org/Math/}
\end{quote}
to the \acro{STIX} project and various other glyph collections.

\section{Implementation of new 8-bit math fonts for \protect\AllTeX}

On the second topic, the status of the activities of the Math Font
Group was reported in a conference paper presented in the morning
session on the first day of the conference.

So far, a set of encodings for new 8-bit math fonts for \AllTeX{} has
been developed, which aims to fulfill certain design goals and to
satisfy a number of technical constraints.  These encodings have been
implemented as a set of virtual fonts based on existing \MF{} or \PS{}
font sets, but the implementation still remains incomplete in several
%cases, and doesn't yet take into account many of the symbols collected
cases, and doesn't yet take into account many of the symbols identified
by the \acro{STIX} project.

A \LaTeX{} interface to access the new encoding which uses a
\texttt{fontmath.cfg} file replacing the default setup in
\texttt{fontmath.ltx} is already in place, but a Plain \TeX{}
interface is still missing and remains to be developed.

%The question remained whether the encodings developed by the
The question remains whether the encodings developed by the
\acro{MFG} are acceptable to the user community and whether they
%statisfy the needs of scientifc and technical publishers.  While there
satisfy the needs of scientific and technical publishers.  While there
%wasn't a clear answer to this question, there seemed to be some sort
wasn't a clear answer to this question, there seemed to be
%of a consensus that new 8-bit math fonts addressing the organizational
a consensus that new 8-bit math fonts addressing the organizational
problems of the old 7-bit math fonts were indeed needed and that the
%work of \acro{MFG} forms a suitable starting point, which may need to
work of the \acro{MFG} forms a suitable starting point, which may need to
be refined later.

In particular, there was a suggestion to relax the requirement for
compatibility with Plain \TeX{} or \LaTeX{} base (including the
\texttt{lasy} symbols) in four families, and to adopt a more rational
organization which would allow to have fewer missing glyphs in the
MathTime version of the \acro{MSP} encoding.  There would also have
to be several additional \acro{MS}\emph{n} fonts to incorporate the
\acro{STIX} glyphs.

A strong driving force to push forward the implemenation of new 8-bit
math fonts for \TeX{} came from Taco Hoekwater of Kluwer Publishers.
As part of his professional activities, he is currently working on a
project to implement as many mathematical symbols as possible in
%Type~1 format by the end of this year, possibly including everthing in
Type~1 format by the end of this year, possibly including everything in
the list of \acro{STIX} glyphs.

Since Kluwer Publishers consider their products to be journals and
books, not fonts, Taco is allowed to put all the fonts he produces for
them into the public domain.  He has already converted several
existing \MF{} symbol fonts (including \texttt{rsfs}, \texttt{stmary},
%\texttt{wasy}) to Type~1 format using \acro{METAFOG} and has released
\texttt{wasy}) to Type~1 format using \acro{METAFOG}, and released
the results to \acro{CTAN} shortly before the conference.

%Concerning the development of new 8-bit math fonts, Taco suggested to
Concerning the development of new 8-bit math fonts, Taco suggested
%concentrate on the Computer Modern version which seems to be the
concentrating on the Computer Modern version which seems to be the
implementation, which happens to draw characters from a number of base
%fonts, so to have a real \MF{} font that could be converted more
fonts, so as to have a real \MF{} font that could be converted more
easily to Type~1 format with \acro{METAFOG}.

New symbols from the \acro{STIX} collection could then be added by new
\MF{} designs, which shouldn't be too difficult in most cases as long
as these can be realized as combinations or variations of existing
symbols.

%On the other hand, there seems to be little that could be done about
On the other hand, there seems to be little that can be done about
the versions based on commercial font sets such as MathTime or Lucida
New Math, which will probably remain restricted to whatever symbol
complement is provided in the presently available base fonts, unless
the suppliers of these font sets will invest some work themselves.

Another suggestion also discussed was to have a set of 8-bit fonts
serving as glyph containers organized by types of symbols, which could
either be used as the basis for a virtual font implementation of 8-bit
math fonts, meeting the technical constraints of \TeX{}, or combined
%into a single hige 16-bit math font for Omega.
into a single huge 16-bit math font for Omega.

While this might be an interesting option for the future, it was
pointed out by several participants that neither Omega nor virtual
fonts could be assumed to be available everywhere and that a
%straight-forward \MF{} implementation of new 8-bit fonts for \TeX{}
straightforward \MF{} implementation of new 8-bit fonts for \TeX{}
was still needed.

Finally, it was discussed what to do about the Plain \TeX{} support of
the new math fonts.  Since Kluwer Publishers are using the Con\TeX{}t
macro package developed by Hans Hagen, which happens to be based on
Plain, Taco will presumably take care of it as well, since he will
need it for his work.

A suggestion to use the existing \LaTeX{} support on top of a Plain
\TeX{} emulation of the \acro{NFSS} interface was rejected, since the
\LaTeX{}-like syntax doesn't easily fit into the framework of the
%Con\TeX{}t system, so a low-level Plain \TeX{} interface is prefered.
Con\TeX{}t system, so a low-level Plain \TeX{} interface is preferred.

\section{Summary and Conclusions}

What to say here?

\author{Barbara Beeton}
Providence, RI, USA}

\author{Thierry Bouche}
Grenoble, France}

\author{Taco Hoekwater}
The Netherlands}

\author{Patrick Ion}
%  Providence, USA}
Ann Arbor, Mich., USA}

\author{J{\"o}rg Knappen}
Mainz, Germany}

\author{Chris Rowley}
London, UK}