[Wikipedia-l] Parsing TeX

Toby Bartels toby+wikipedia-l at math.ucr.edu
Fri Aug 16 10:20:05 UTC 2002

Jan Hidders wrote for the most part:

>First let me apologize for the late reply. My internet connection thought for
>some reason that it had to simulate a stack exchange (up, down, down, up,
>down, down, down), but an electrician has now convinced it to stay up.

No problem.
I myself will probably not reply to your next reply until Tuesday.
The Internet makes us used to nearly instantaneous communication,
but that just can't always happen.

>>OTOH, if you change it to [$x^2y = z_1$], then people that copy you
>>will be likely to write [$x% = x/100$], even without reading
>>[[Wikipedia:How does one edit a math page]] or whatever.

They will quickly notice that the end result is not what they expected and
then either go and read the manual anyway, or simply write ''x''% =
''x''/100 or [$x$]% = [$x$]/100.

I think that the version with the ''...'' is most likely --
they know how to use it, and [$...$] will get a reputation as Weird.
This will inspire them to use ''...'' all the time, to avoid trouble.
Then what do we have?  Essentially my system,
with one syntax for simple expressions and and another for complex.
You deplore this, and for reasonable reasons.
But I want to hammer out a standard for deciding between them.
The reason is that I predict such a dichotomy to be inevitable,
not because I *like* it.

>One of Axel's motivation for LaTeX is that we should
>be able to fairly easy exchange articles with planetmath.org. I agree with
>that and that would mean that you want to be able to do LaTeX in sentences.
>It is also one of the reasons why we should have a markup similar to $..$
>because that would make the conversion (by hand) simpler.

I don't know; ¿do I want to make mass cutting and pasting easier? ^_^.
I'd actually like to hear from Axel; he's returned, but still silent.

-- Toby Bartels
   <toby+wikipedia-l at math.ucr.edu>

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