bnb at ams.org bnb at ams.org
Sat Nov 29 15:38:31 CET 2014

hi, bill,

You write in part:

> however, the "style" of latex coding is not
> the best.  unfortunately, many of the examples
> shown on sites with such material neither
> exhibit "best practices" nor have undergone
> validation or editing.

I don't understand what you mean by 'validation'
in this context.  Is there something more than running
it through, say, pdflatex, checking the appearance of
the output, and checking for noise in the log?

validation:
- does it run without errors?
- does it produce the intended
output?
- does it avoid redefining
primitives or commands that
are defined in basic latex and
ubiquitous packages (such as
hyperref)?
- is the log free of warnings
obvious in the output?
(of course, things like overfull
boxes will depend on the document
class ultimately used; two-column
pages have less leeway than do
one-column pages.  a reasonable
test would *not* assume that
the full width of a4 paper is
available, but would use the
dimension of a typical journal.)

editing:
- does it show use of "best
practices"
- using \mathbf instead of \bf
- putting braces not just where
absolutely needed, but also
where they will make it easier
for "derivative" processing
(such as conversion to mathml)
to be bulletproof;
- avoiding eqnarray;
- defining (with \newcommand,
not \def) commands for common
notation that may be changed
during the course of writing?
- is it laid out cleanly so that

(Of course, you probably know that I think there should
be something more ...)

i surely may have missed something
that you would find necessary, or