Fwd: [texhax] LaTeX Pagination Reversed

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Sat Apr 8 23:55:19 CEST 2006

On 4/8/06, Steve Peter <speter at dandy.net> wrote:
> On Apr 8, 2006, at 4:43 PM, Philip TAYLOR wrote:
> > ... the wide-outer, narrow-inner, is (I am told) an American
> > convention which exists because Americans love to write in the
> > margins (whilst we  British are taught never to write in our
> > textbooks).
> Nonsense. Look at the Gutenberg bible's outer margin. This goes back
> long before Americans. (And there were plenty of people writing
> marginalia long before the Americans, too.)
> The notion is that, when a spread is open, there will be three equal
> ribbons of white with the text block in between. To get the "ribbons"
> to be equal, the inner margin must be half of the outer margin, since
> the inner margins will butt against each other in the spread.
> For reference, take a look at chapter 2 of the excellent manual for
> the memoir class (available on CTAN).

Wide inner margins definitely faciliate copying/scanning but I doubt
that this is a goal of the publishers. BTW the modern american texbook
(for high school or junior university) has enormous outer margins, few
times wider than both inner margins altogether, and these outer
margins are often used for printed notes and graphics (like plots).
Still there is a lot of the free space, and if Fermat had such
textbook A.Wiles would have nothing to do :-)

Victor Ivrii, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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