The TeX Pestilence (the problems of TeX/LaTeX)
The following essay, is edited version of my email messages, on the harm of TeX. Problems of TeX. TeX is detrimental because it harbors ignorance of the structural content embodied in most math notations in most fields. What TeX does is typesetting, as opposed to math expression encoding.
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- yes, am rambling off a bit with my political opinion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, still. I appreciate it. ^_^Oct 2, 2013
- , physics? Wolfram? You're not talking about A New Kind of Science, are you? 'cos there's a word for that book: borderline crackpottism. It's got all the signs: man not well known in field X works alone for years and releases a Great New Discovery in field X to enormous hype, published in a book, not a paper; there are almost no citations in said said book, it is clear that the author had not read existing papers in field X, and the discovery is unfalsifiable. (Well, OK, he discovered some interesting things about certain restricted classes of cellular automata -- while claiming to have discovered many other things about cellular automata which were well known long before. But any claim that this has anything at all to do with actual physics is, well, crackpot.)Oct 2, 2013
- , the stableness of TeX is because Knuth froze it and because he went to almost unbelievable lengths to ensure that it would always produce precisely the same output for a given piece of input. It was not something that fell out by chance, certainly not because it was free -- indeed, it took careful wording of the Free Software Definition to consider TeX free software because of its thou-shalt-not-change-its-behaviour-without-changing-the-name-too rules. (Have you seen Knuth's memorable rant when one Linux distro changed the shape of one single letter in Computer Modern? That's how much he cared.)
The line break algorithm is awesome (and has been widely copied), and has nothing to do with math mode at all: indeed line breaking is disabled in math mode. So I don't know what you're talking about. (Its page break algorithm is crappy. Lout beats it there.)Oct 2, 2013
- “Have you seen Knuth's memorable rant when one Linux distro changed the shape of one single letter in Computer Modern?”
where? i googled for a min but didn't see it.Oct 2, 2013
- Wolfram is youngest to win McAuthor award... among other things. He's recognized physicist in teen or early 20s, with theorem named after him. The New Kinda Science (ANKOS) brouhaha is some 2 or 3 decades later.
i've read about all reviews of ANKOS there is (at least almost all that ever existed online). Controversial indeed. I also read the book 2 to 3 times, on the first 6 chaps and the later math logic chapter... he sent a copy to me :DOct 2, 2013
- , the McArthur Award does not indicate that you are a great physicist. It doesn't indicate anything at all. It's a grant to people the McArthur Foundation thinks are smart (and young-ish). That's all.
He's a sufficiently minor physicist that I hadn't heard of him in that context (but then that applies to most physicists, there are lots of them). But, hey, if he's got his mathematical chops that explains why Mathematica is so good at what it does :)Oct 2, 2013