[texhax] \binom

Yannis Haralambous yannis.haralambous at telecom-bretagne.eu
Mon Mar 2 18:36:58 CET 2009

Le 2 mars 09 à 14:50, Joseph Wright a écrit :

> In the context of some discussions about how LaTeX3 might provide some
> kind of namespace protection, I wonder what you think would be useful.
> It's easy to make suggestions, but I'd be interested to know how  
> people
> who have to deal with documents arriving from varied sources see this.

Well, beamer uses <foo> notation for layers, one could some different  
notation for namespace prefixes, for example : as in XML.

If we use the XML paradigm, LaTeX packages would define name space  
strings and prefixes, and macros belonging to a given package would  
use that prefix. Author Dupont would use xmlns:dup="http://www.unauteurstupide.com/nicolas/dupont 
" (I use XML notation here) and if he defines a macro \diff, one could  
write \diff (ambiguous) or \dup:diff (macro \diff belonging to the  
namespace whose prefix is dup)

As editor of papers I would then provide a name space to the author's  
personal macros (if they don't have one already) and this would  
protect my macros from his.

> The above solutions are not perfect, but trying to avoid problems by
> asking people not to use logical markup is wrong.

Right and wrong depend on your viewpoint. From the viewpoint of having  
elegantly and clearly written documents, you are right. From the  
viewpoint of having less work to do when processing TeX code for  
making it to fit into a given journal, you are wrong. So all depends  
on what you are going to do with that code. Imagine we apply a method  
to convert all of our LaTeX code into something even more logical, for  
example XML+MathML with logically marked up formulas and RDF triples  
using standard ontologies. What would be easier to process? Logical  
LaTeX markup, but different for every user, or more presentation- 
oriented LaTeX code, but using only standard LaTeX macros?

I think that it would be the second. But maybe I'm wrong.

> If you discourage them to write macros,
> they will never clean up their macros and write a package.

I'm not talking about very specific stuff which would eventually  
result in a package. For example, when I have an author who has  
written code for some new system of notation of mathematics (Feynman  
diagrams or Petri networks or the like), I'm certainly glad if he has  
written as many and as complete macros as possible.

I'm talking about ordinary stuff: symbols, operators, expressions  
which occur often in a document, etc. You can't imagine how many ways  
mathematicians have found to write \mathbb{R} or \mathfrak{G}... Some  
of them will even start by manually loading the fonts, some still use I 
\!\!R for \mathbb{R} ...  Even if these people end up writing a  
package, it will probably be a bad package...  ;-)

My suggestion is: if \cup and \cap are unclear in a French context,  
let GUTenberg define \union and \intersection, and make that part of  
frenchb.sty, and ask people to use it. But don't necessarily encourage  
them to write their own macros

| Yannis Haralambous, Ph.D.      yannis.haralambous at telecom- 
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