[texhax] Obsolete \centerline command used in amsbook class (Uwe L?ck)

Michael Barr barr at math.mcgill.ca
Mon Sep 24 19:25:08 CEST 2012

I couldn't agree more.  I suppose that, for some values of "undefine", 
amslatex doesn't undefine \over.  I mistakenly thought it did since I got 
the error: \over undefined control sequence.  Eventually, by tracking down 
the definition of \frac, I did find \@@over.  Yes, it never occurred to me 
to first let \let\OVER\over before loading the file and then 
\let\over\OVER after.  It is a useful suggestion actually.

If Latex3 really disallows things it doesn't like, I am afraid the tex 
community will fork and one branch (perhaps a very small branch) will not 
adopt it.  Is that what the implementers want.  I get intimations that 
they are seriously thinking of disallowing \def and \let.

As I just explained to Uwe Lueck, I cannot imagine doing my diagram macros 
(a front end to xypic) using \newcommand.  It has one macro, \cube, that 
has 20 required and 32 optional parameters that are delimited in various 
ways (look at it if you are interested).  I suppose you could use Keyval, 
but I wouldn't want to.  The reason for a total of 52 parameters is that a 
cube has has 8 vertices and 12 arrows.  There are four parameters each for 
the inner and outer squares, two for the placement and two for the hsize 
and vsize.  Each arrow requires three parameters, one for its shape and 
direction, one for the label placement and one for the actual label.


On Mon, 24 Sep 2012, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

> Ulrike Fischer wrote:
>> Beside this amslatex doesn't "undefine" \over. The old meaning is
>> stored in \@@over and you can easily restore it if you want. And even
>> if it would undefine it, you could easily save the meaning yourself
>> before loading the package. So what?
> It is, I think, Ulrike, a clash of two different cultures and two
> different sets of expectations.  There are people such as Michael
> and myself, who would be perfectly happy for formats such as
> <whatever, including empty>LaTeX to /add/ functionality to TeX,
> so long as such packages do not remove functionality that would
> exist were that format not loaded; and there are others, perhaps
> such as yourself, who are perfectly happy to accept LaTeX as a
> /replacement/ for the (admittedly far less sophisticated) features
> of (Plain) TeX, and who do not care one iota if a TeX primitive or
> TeX functionality is hidden, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that
> <whatever>LaTeX provides a far more sophisticated alternative.
> Now people such as Michael and I are probably members of a very small
> minority, but to dismiss their very real concerns with a casual "So
> what ?" is tantamount to say that their views do not matter.  If that
> is your view, then you are perfectly entitled to hold it; but by the
> same token, Michael and I are also entitled to hold our views, and it
> would (IMHO) be far better if each group were to acknowledge the right
> of the other group to hold their views without seeking to suggest that
> such views are either wrong or irrelevant.
> Philip Taylor

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in
moral philosophy--the search for a superior moral justification
for selfishness.  --J.K. Galbraith

More information about the texhax mailing list