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Re: [PATCH v2] org-manual.org: $n$-th is not math

From: Timothy
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2] org-manual.org: $n$-th is not math
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023 20:37:48 +0800
User-agent: mu4e 1.8.13; emacs 28.2.50

Hi Rudolf,

> Funny, I the exact opposite of you; I would pay many to see $…$th and
> $…$-th special-cased (with tests, so that it would not break again).

I feel the need to point out that this way lies madness.

The behaviour of $ in Org is /inherrently/ confusing. You’re confused by 
and `$...$-th'. Say those were special-cased, somebody notices the work and then
try `$n$-dimensional' and now are /even more confused/ when it doesn’t work.

Ok, say we make `$...$' just apply in more cases, then we have somebody who
writing about prices who changed `$3 or =$5' to `$3-$5' and now “weird things 

The root issue is the way that `$' tries to pull double-duty as both a literal 
and a delimiter. It’s all very well to say that “in LaTeX this is fine”, however
in LaTeX this /simply is not an issue/* as single dollars must be escaped as 

We can fiddle with the heuristics, but there is no perfect solution here …
other than to move away from `$' and prioritise `\( ... \)' in our 
documentation and
examples, even add a linter rule that raises warnings about the tendency of
dollar-math to misbehave when people use it.

All the best,

* It’s still a pain/discouraged for other reasons.

Timothy (‘tecosaur’/‘TEC’), Org mode contributor.
Learn more about Org mode at <https://orgmode.org/>.
Support Org development at <https://liberapay.com/org-mode>,
or support my work at <https://liberapay.com/tec>.

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