[texhax] Misplaced parentheses

Michael Barr barr at math.mcgill.ca
Sat Oct 30 15:46:48 CEST 2010

Michael Barr <barr at math.mcgill.ca> writes:

> > I don't expect tex to produce awful-looking output.
> Michael, are you Rip Van Winkle, asleep for 20 years?
> > Perhaps the person (I deleted the note because it was so unresponsive)
> Ooooh! Petulent fanboi.

I had a brain cramp when I typed \documentstyle instead of
\documentclass.  Sorry about that.  But it was exactly the same when I
corrected that.  But the person who suggested that my \eql macro was
badly defined angered me.  So I got the same behavior with the
right paren.  Is that also misdefined?  Petulant? Maybe, but the
suggestion was unhelpful.

> > $(\widehat d)$
> There are many issues here, and who knows what bugs you
> the most.
> 1) the letter "d" has its high point over on the right, but the
> accent is centered over the entire letter, extrapolated along the
> slope.  If you take the wide part of the d, follow a sloped line
> up parallel to the stem, you nearly meet the apex of the hat.
> I bet you expect the hat to be aligned with the stem only.

No, I was expecting the apex to be centered on the glyph.  Silly me.
But convince me that it should be centered over the extension of the
slant.  I tried following the "d" with "\/", but it made no difference.

> 2) The character d in computer modern math italic has the wrong
> bounding box. This is a typical Knutian ad-hoc-hack so that
> "dx" looks like a differential instead of d times x.  Compare
> $d\vrule = \l\vrule$.

The first convincing explanation I have seen.  I wrote a book, published
maybe ten years ago, which d^1, d^n, ..., appeared repeatedly (since you
didn't ask, they were face operators) and eventually had to define my
own macro "\dee" that did what "d" should have.  Although off-topic,
Knuth's decision to make the height of the "-" the same as that of the
"+" is also extremely annoying (a dotted minus sign requires you to
guess what the actual height is, put it in a box, put the dot on top of

> 3) Math accents are made invisible to the rest of the layout.
> (viz ${\hat x}^2$).  The overlap on the side is the inevitable
> result when you put a wider accent on a narrower letter

I grant you that.  The reason is that the ordinary \hat fades into near
insignifigance.  What I want is something just a bit wider.

> --
> Donald Arseneau                          asnd at triumf.ca


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