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Re: Equations

From: Mark C. Chu-Carroll
Subject: Re: Equations
Date: Tue, 06 Dec 1994 09:22:25 -0500

]I must say, the equations in the manual distributed with Lout are not
]really up to snuff, at least compared to TeX.  I would use Lout, since
]TeX seems awfully kludgy to me, except for this important point.  The
]integral signs, for instance, are straight vertical and have ugly ends,
]rather than the graceful curves of TeX, and the square root doesn't close
]up correctly.  Is somebody working on this?  I know it's difficult, but
]it's necessary.

It would be difficult to fix in Lout without a *lot* of work.  The
mathematical symbols in TeX were carefully hand-drawn, and a lot of
work went into working out positioning very precisely so that the
spacing was ideal for the math font.

In Lout, we're using the symbols from the Adobe fonts. To get TeX like
results, we'd have to hand-design a new math font, and work out the
positioning to get it right.

]Also, from casually perusing the manual, it seems that Lout encourages
]an imperative style of writing, rather than describing the logical structure
]of the document.  LaTeX, for instance, does this last well; it's easy to
]change the global look of a document without going through the whole thing
](at least if the document is written well).  Is anybody working on a
]package like this?

I disagree partly here. Most of what goes on in lout is as structural
as LaTeX. When you're designing new commands, you use imperative
layout, but you do that in LaTeX as well. When you're writing a
document, you're mostly working in terms of declarative environments:
reports, sections, lists, etc. There is a degree of impertiveness to
the commands (@NumberedList to specify that a list will be typeset as
numbered), but you get that in latex as well. The only big different
that strikes me is that LaTeX handles nested lists much more
gracefully (in lout, I need to specify the appearance of the item
markers on each nesting level. In LaTeX I don't. I've been meaning to
try writing something like that for lout, but haven't had time to
learn enough nitty-gritty to do it.)


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