[texhax] help with identifying some macros

P. R. Stanley prstanley at ntlworld.com
Tue Oct 20 19:45:47 CEST 2009

Sorry, what is "limited manual capability"?
At 15:32 20/10/2009, you wrote:
>On Tue, 20 Oct 2009, Victor Ivrii wrote:
>     On Tue, Oct 20, 2009 at 7:15 AM, Dan Hatton 
> <vi5u0-texhax at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>     > On Tue, 20 Oct 2009, Lars Madsen wrote:
>     >
>     >> I would rename them into something like \union and 
> \intersection, X \cap Y
>     >> does not make any sense.
>     Well then one will need to rename all their derivatives (and
>     pseudoderivatives) as well including \Cup and  \sqdoublecap or maybe
>     even \Coffeecup and \Capricorn (should we?)
>     Sure if we had a time machine we could give better names from the very
>     beginning but now we can only create a royal mess and pain
>the particular names in question were
>assigned by don knuth.  this is only a
>hypothesis, but i believe that he was
>following a long tradition of proofreaders
>to use the names \cup and \cap.  if this
>is so, then i seriously doubt that any
>change would be be likely, particularly
>in light of the alternate meanings that
>have been pointed out.
>it might be noted that in fact there
>*are* some alternate names for some
>symbols, either because they are in
>different classes:
>   \triangle, \bigtriangleup
>   \backslash, \setminus
>or for some other reason:
>   \ne, \neq
>   \ni, \owns
>   \wedge, \land
>   \vee, \lor
>   \neg, \lnot
>this list obviously favors knuth's own
>needs, but it shows that there is no
>built-in prejudice against multiple
>names.  my guess is that \ne and \ni
>are so similar that the ease of finding
>typos in a file where both are used
>would be more important than ease of
>typing, and for the logical operators,
>the clarity of meaning would be the
>deciding factor for which was used.
>special-purpose packages have renamed
>quite a few symbols for the sake of
>clarified meaning (i'm thinking here
>of the zed package).  the important
>thing is to avoid re-use of names
>that have already been assigned.
>but authors seem to prefer ease of
>typing to clarity of content.  this
>wreaks havoc in the ams production
>system, where fully linked, on-line
>posting of journal articles requires
>use of hyperref -- which redefines a
>very large number of the "short names".
>so these all have to be changed by hand,
>leading to the possibility of introduced
>errors.  no amount of warnings against
>not redefining one- or two-letter names
>seems to have any effect.  (this has
>gotten off the original topic, for
>which i apologize, but if anyone has
>a compelling argument that will convince
>authors that "clarity is better than
>brevity", i'll be delighted to learn it.
>i also apologize to authors with limited
>manual capability, but there are other
>ways to get around that, like editors
>with abbreviation-expansion features.)
>                                                 -- bb
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