Re: support for 'macro' formatting languages

Subject: Re: support for 'macro' formatting languages
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 14:06:12 GMT
> As you point out the problem i mentioned may not be a problem
> for TeX at all. But TeX is very sophisticated.

No, I meant the opposite. When it comes to handling large formulae
TeX is not sophisticated at all. It doesn't even try to do anything.
If you give it a few MB of displayed mathematics, it will happily put it
all on one line, and then inform you that you have an overfull hbox.

The solution to getting rendering in different formats is to put the
information in the source (X|SG)ML that is exactly the information that
you said is not there: Structually mark subterms so that a renderer can
make intelligent line breaking decisions based on the expression
structure. It is this kind of structural markup that is explicitly
encouraged in mathml.

If you have ever taken a paper with large formulae broken by hand
and aligned using (say) the AMS LaTeX packages for mathematics,
and then tried to set that material to a different page width
you'll know that the TeX model is something you _don't_ want to copy
as author syntax for documents that are going to be used for multiple


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