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

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J. Mayer

Posts: 159
Registered: 12/12/04
Re: why .ps ?
Posted: Aug 5, 2000 6:04 PM
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Hong Ooi <hong.ooi@maths.anu.edu.au> schrieb in im Newsbeitrag:
jcioosknl3gie3v952ic9n8vlig77pkc3r@4ax.com...
> On 05 Aug 2000 15:59:57 GMT, qscgz@aol.com (QSCGZ) wrote:
>

> >Stephen Montgomery-Smith wrote:
> > >QSCGZ wrote:
> > >>
> > >> why is most mathematical online-information only available in
> > >> .ps or .dvi encrypted format ???

> > >
> > >In the old days (about the time just before I graduated),
> > >mathematicians would write out their papers by hand, and
> > >secretaries with special typewriters would type them out.
> > >The process was expensive and time consuming.
> > >
> > >Then Donald Knuth came up with TeX. At first this required
> > >large computers, but with time, it came more and more available,
> > >(so that it was available for me to use just about in time for
> > >me when I needed to write up my Ph.D.).
> > >
> > >This was a great language to write mathematics - it typeset
> > >beautifully. You wrote something like
> > >$$ \int_0^\infty \exp(-x^2/2) dx = \sqrt{\pi \over 2} $$
> > >and sent this to the TeX program, and it got typeset beautifully.

> >
> >I{0 to oo} exp(-x^2/2)*dx = sqrt(pi/2)
> >or such works fine for me.

>
> Now:
> - does that I{} thingy mean "integrate" or the Identity function?
> - do the curly brackets denote a set, or do they have some sort of
> special meaning?
> - do the letters "pi" mean the mathematical constant 3.14159+, or the
> multiplication of two variables, p and i?
> - similarly does "dx" stand for the differential element, or two
> variables d and x?
> - similarly, couldn't you replace the "oo" with "o^2"?
>
> You may argue that for this example such things are clear from context,
> but there'll be lots of situations where they _aren't_ clear.
> Typesetting mathematical formulae so that the meaning is clear (or at
> least isn't needlessly obfuscated) is not a trivial job.


That is why latex will compile the code above into typeset text, which is
not ambiguous.
>
>
> --
> Hong Ooi | Centre for Maths and its Applications/
> hong.ooi@maths.anu.edu.au | Research School of Inf. Science & Engn.
> Ph: (02) 6267 4140 | Australian National University
> | ACT 0200 Australia









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