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From the Readers


The Mahajan paper in issue 2006-4, was an outstanding article. I too am a Ph.D. student and T.A. who has been using LaTeX to write my Thesis, Dissertation, various reports, and project papers. This was the perfect article for me. I am going to start learning ConTeXt

Keith Jones

[Aditya Mahajan along with editor Joe Hogg did a great job on that article. Good to hear it was useful to you. — The Editors.]



In the abstract look at the contact email address for yuri.robbers. As a piece of typesetting, it is not very attractive! Surely something is wrong here and I am not an expert. But I love Latex.

Joe Mc Cool

[Dear Joe, it seems you are referring to the abstract on the journal webpage, since there is no email address in the abstract of the PDF file. This email address is actually a graphics file that is included in the text. It sure looks ugly, but it is one of only very few ways to thwart programs that scavenge websites for e-mail adresses that can be used for spam. So sadly enough this ugliness seems necessary. As a consolation it only shows up in some cases, depending on the width of your web browser window. — The Editors]


In the article by Singh et. al, parts of the three reports have almost identical words. This should have been caught by the editor.

I am a LaTeX fan of long standing and always read new-user reports with great interest. I've had my own battles trying to get it accepted over M$ Void, so I know the drill.

Charles L. Hethcoat III

[Dear Charles, you are, of course, right. The similarity in the reports was noticed by the editor, but we decided to print the piece as is. — The Editors]


What I have found of xy-pic is that it is a wonderful program with utterly opaque documentation. So everything I can learn about it is helpful and I learned several new things from Paul Blaga's article I will download and print out his articles and doubtless make much use of them.

I would like to call his attention to diagxy that provides an alternate syntax for most commutative diagrams. Just to see what the diagxy code would look, I programmed the diagram at the end of the article whose code got omitted (while the code for the penultimate diagram was repeated). I cannot tell whether it is familiarity or not, but I find my code considerably easier to generate and read. At any rate the code follows.

Michael Barr

 \node 1a(300,1700)[\Sigma^L]
 \node 1b(1300,1700)[\Sigma^R]
 \node 2a(0,1300)[L]
 \node 2b(500,1300)[L_r]
 \node 2c(1000,1300)[R]
 \node 3a(0,700)[L_m]
 \node 3b(500,700)[K_{r,m}]
 \node 3c(1000,700)[K_{m^*}]
 \node 4a(300,400)[\Sigma^G]
 \node 4b(1300,400)[\Sigma^H]
 \node 5a(0,0)[G]
 \node 5b(500,0)[G_{r^*}]
 \node 5c(1000,0)[H]
 \arrow|a|/ >->/[2b2a;i_1]
 \arrow|l|/ >->/[3a2a;i_2]
 \arrow/ >->/[3b3a;i_3]
 \arrow|r|/ >->/[3b2b;i_4]
 \arrow|b|/ >->/[5b5a;i_5]
 \arrow|r|/ >->/[3c2c;i_6]

[We are glad this article has been useful to you. You might be delighted to see that this issue has a further article by Paul Blaga on XY-pic Thank you for your alternative code. As you say, the documentation for XY-pic is rather opaque, and doubtlessly readers will benefit from your alternate solution. — The Editors]


Dear PracTeX Journal,

I just read Walter Schmidt's short guide to fonts and this is just what I was searching. I use LaTeX for about four years and fonts were always a mystery for me.

Now with your guide and the psnfss manual I see much clearer.

Thanks a lot.

Best regards and keep on TeXing

Kai Wassermann


Madsen's paper is a useful article. I've been trying to convince people where I work to use amslatex's align environment over eqnarray for several year, so it will be nice to be able to point them to your article. It will also be useful to point it out to the producers of some of the newer latex editors to try and convince them to include the align environment as the default for aligning equations.


Glenn Fulford
g.fulford at 3864 4295


As I've only be reading PracTeX Journal for a day or two, I don't have much to say except it is amazing to see such a source of information available here. Many thanks.

Regarding the discussion of eqnarray by Lars Madsen, I notice an error on page 9, last line, where "but when using eqnarray" should probably state "but incorrect when using eqnarray".

This may sound trite, but I hope the author appreciates the correction. I certainly appreciated the effort he has put into his explanation of the evils of , and alternatives to, eqnarray.

Best regards,
Gernot Hassenpflug

[Dear Gernot, we appreciate user feedback: corrections such as yours from our readers mean we can improve upon the quality of our journal. Any improvement, however small, is worth aiming for! — The Editors]


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