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Topic: why .ps ?
Replies: 39   Last Post: Aug 9, 2000 3:13 PM

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Steve Lord

Posts: 611
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: why .ps ?
Posted: Aug 5, 2000 1:09 PM
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On 5 Aug 2000, QSCGZ wrote:

> Gerald A. Edgar wrote:

> >> why is most mathematical online-information only available in
> >> .ps or .dvi encrypted format ???

> >
> >{TeX, DVI, .ps} is the format most often used for electronic
> >distrubution of mathematical papers.

> wouldn't it be easier to create the papers in .txt format ?

Not really.

> Maybe it's even often done this way and then they are converted
> and some additional specifications are added.
> But then both versions could be put online with no additional work.

Another poster already give one reason why .tex files are not released --
it's too easy to change them and claim that the file is yours.

> >The fact that they are
> >also on-line is incidental. The papers were already in
> >.dvi form and conversion to .ps is routine. They could be put
> >on-line with no additional work.
> >
> >Probably PDF is currently best for on-line math.

> yet you give no reasons nor do you address my counterarguments.
> I just found another one:
> - .ps files / formulas can't be easily integrated in computer programs
> and it's harder for (future) ai-programs to read them.

Don't worry about (future) ai-programs ... by the time we have an
ai-program that can work with general mathematical concepts we should be
able to have it read in .ps files (or we will have found something

> >Just as 50 years
> >ago every mathematician was simply assumed to be able to read
> >French, German, and Italian,

> I doubt this. Certainly not _every_ mathematician.

Fine. 'almost every' mathematician then.

> And do you think, that this has changed now ? and why ?

No, it hasn't.

> Is TeX assumed to replace these languages ?

No. If you want to read a paper in a foreign language, knowing LaTeX will
allow you to get the structure but none of the content.

> >so today every mathematician is assumed
> >to use TeX for promulgating his work.

> or .ps or .dvi or pdf or MathML or ...

Once you have a LaTeX document, there are MORE than enough programs to
convert it to dvi, ps, pdf, etc. Theoretically, I could read a document
in LaTeX and get the information from there ... but it would be MUCH
easier to read the Postscript version obtained from that .tex file.

Steve L

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