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

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Wed Sep 26 15:40:23 CEST 2012

Am Tue, 25 Sep 2012 15:24:40 -0300 schrieb Jim Diamond:

> I find your analogy and your argument uncompelling, to say nothing of
> petulant.  If a LaTeX package writer updates a package and something
> changes, one might presume that he/she did so because he/she was
> fixing a bug or improving the capability of the package.  And thus the
> change is not only excusable but maybe even a Good Thing.
> On the other hand, redefining \over or \def strikes me as gratuitously
> authoritarian. 

That's not an argument. A package is always authoritarian. It always
empress on you usage rules like syntax and command names. The
question is if the redefinition of a primitive like \over restricts
your possibilities in an unsupportable way. 

LaTeX redefines the primitive \input. I have never see anyone
complain about it, but if one doesn't like it it is an one-liner to
restore the original meaning (at your own risk).

LaTeX redefines the primitive \end. Again I have never see anyone
complain about it, but again the old meaning is not lost and can
easily be restored (at your own risk).

amslates redefines the primitive \over. Before this discussion I
have never seen someone complain about it, and again the old meaning
is not lost and can easily be restored. 

I never saw a package redefine \def, only some user which didn't
realize what they were doing and were quite bewildered about the
resulting errors. I personally think it is a very good idea of
LaTeX3 to use internally other names and so to free all this short
names like \def, \hbox etc for user commands. And again: The old
meaning will not lost and you will be able to remap it to \def. 

So my reaction to the complain about "\over" is "so what"?

Were you ever affected personally from one of this redefinitions?
Did you - before you read this discussion - actually ever cared?

Ulrike Fischer 

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