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Re: [Axiom-developer] breqn

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] breqn
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 13:27:35 -0800 (PST)

--- Jay Belanger <address@hidden> wrote:

> C Y <address@hidden> writes:
> > breqn is a line breaker, but for TeX rather than ascii.  
> > Can Axiom produce TeX mathematical output that is broken up
> > over lines?  I'm not even sure how it would know how to do
> > so without knowing the rendering environment.
> I agree; where the output should be broken up depends on too 
> many other things besides the actual equation.

Eventually, I hope to have a GUI interface where we can really start to
work on this problem - by then the STIX fonts will be available, and
with any luck we can focus on those fonts specifically for line
breaking concerns, since they are likely to become the dominate fonts
for mathematical expressions.  (That's assuming the fonts really live
up to their hype, but I'm hopeful they will.)

> > I should read over the breqn docs - I've used it but I 
> > don't know much about it.  Dr. Fateman seems to consider it
> > fairly trivial compared to the general problem of line 
> > breaking mathematics (which is true) but
> > for a lot of VERY common cases it does what is needed.
> It can't be perfect, but it does seem to work pretty well in 
> most cases.  I haven't heard of anyone working on it since 
> Michael Downes; too bad.

I don't think anyone wants to work on it until the license is cleared
up, even assuming we've got people both interested and that skilled in

If need be presumably we can implement the ideas in our own
axiom.breakequations.sty file, but that will be very, very nontrivial

> > I hope Axiom will be able to build off of the general ideas
> > there to make an Axiom specific EAxiom environment someday 
> > (clearly pamphlet files add an extra dimension, and the IO 
> > issues involved are also a bit tricky).
> I said I'd have some sort of EAxiom to send you a while ago;
> obviously I don't.  Sorry!

No worries - I'm rather behind myself.  I'm still writing the text for
the unit package, and have a ways to go even on that. (Arrrrgh. 
Must... finish... units... and... move... on... to errors...)

> Right now I'm in the middle of writing my portfolio;
> I should be finished with that early next week.  Soon after 
> I expect to devote a lot of time to Axiom, starting with 
> EAxiom.  I promise to send something in December.

Cool! :-).  With any luck, I'll be ready to start actual Axiom coding
about the time you need someone to test EAxiom :-).  Maximabook all
over again ;-).

Actually, I guess what I should do is write both the "pamphlet" file
and a more "normal" tutorial on units using included Axiom sessions,
depending on what features you want to put in EAxiom.  

Which actually leads me to another question.  Tim, what are your
feelings about including Axiom sessions in LaTeX documents ala the
maximabook?  Do you like the way it was done there or should it be
different?  Also, for more "user oriented" documentation that works
above the source code level, should that be part of the bookvol1? 
e.g., for new users I don't expect them to wade through the whole
UnitsandDimensions.pamphlet file to find out how to use units - I would
start with the most "user friendly" parts of the system that a
scientist would want to use, and probably finish up with the idea of
rulesets and a brief description of why they are needed.  For the
knock-down-drag-out discussion of units the user is referred to the
implementation documentation, but I doubt we want to start there.  Or
am I wrong?


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