[texhax] On \centerline, etc.

Susan Dittmar Susan.Dittmar at gmx.de
Thu Sep 27 17:18:33 CEST 2012

Quoting Michael Barr (barr at math.mcgill.ca):
> I looked at the reference cited by Uwe
> Lueck and found the following sentence:
> "But in the case of \matrix,
> \pmatrix, \cases this was a mistake--the plain.tex syntax for them is de-
> cidedly non-LATEX in style, for example the fact that they use \cr instead 
> of
> \\ to mark line breaks, and they don't use \begin and \end."
> So the reason is that is decidedly non-latex in style and (my own take):
> we cannot allow mixing of latex and non-latex.  No better reason is
> given that supporting the authoritarian nature on latex.

I have the impression that in this discussion different things are all
thrown together into the same pot called "LaTeX". amstex/amslatex (sorry
for not knowing or caring right now about the differences) is *not* meant
to be as flexible as possible. At least it did not start out as such. In
contrary: it was invented to archieve uniformity. Its decisions are based
on "how can we reduce work for the finnishing touches of our journal(s)".

With this starting point in mind, I think they are perfectly entitled to
decide they don't want to see \over used (even without any look at their
reasoning). I know their packages are widely used, for much more than just
the journals. I am grateful for those packages. Still, it's their right to
stick to their main goals, which *are* communicated freely.

To point fingers at LaTeX because of the decisions of the authors of one
package, however widely used, is like pointing fingers at all Westerners
because one Westerner made a movie you dislike.

Just my thoughts,


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