[NTG-context] Re: Some proposed improvements for t-amsl.tex.

Giuseppe Bilotta gip.bilotta at iol.it
Thu Aug 26 00:35:48 CEST 2004

Hello Moses (uh ... I hope that's the name and Brooks is the
surname ... :)),

thank you very much for your email; it's very detailed and
useful, which is why I've only replied this late (well, also
because vacation-style RL popped in, but I digress :))

I'll address a couple of points replying under the relevant

Monday, August 2, 2004 Brooks Moses wrote:

> This inconvenience happens to show up in t-amsl.tex's "align" and "gather"
> implementations, which is one place where I really need that compatibility
> function.  However, it turns out that there's a simple way to rewrite the
> implementation so to avoid needing \grabuntil.

> Mostly, this works on the fact that the definition of Plain TeX's \eqalign
> function can be split apart into a before and after part, as follows:

> \def\starteqalign{\null\,\vcenter\bgroup
>    \openup\jot {\mathsurround=0pt}%
>    \ialign\bgroup
> \strut\hfil$\displaystyle{##}$&$\displaystyle{{}##}$\hfil
>        \crcr}
> \def\stopeqalign{\crcr\egroup\egroup\,}

> (This, aside from the \bgroup's and \egroup's, is copied directly from
> Appendix B of The TeXbook.)  Thus, we could expand the instances of
> \eqalign in the \startalign and \startgather definitions, shuffle things
> around appropriately, and obtain the following:

> \def\startalign{\startformula
>     \let\\\cr
>     \starteqalign}
> \def\stopalign{\crcr\stopeqalign\stopformula}

> \def\startgather{\startformula
>     \def\\{\cr&}%
>     \starteqalign&}
> \def\stopgather{\crcr\stopeqalign\stopformula}

> This exactly duplicates the existing functionality in the t-amsl.tex
> package.

Stop #1. I *enormously* love this idea. Have you been running
test cases with this code instead of the one in t-amsl? If so,
then I'll put it in the official t-amsl instantly.

> However, that functionality could be improved to be a better
> match to what's provided in amsmath.tex; in particular, align should accept
> multiple columns of equations, and gather should center its lines.  Thus, I
> propose that the following redefinitions be included in t-amsl:

> \def\startalign{\startformula
>    \let\\\cr
>    \null\vcenter\bgroup
>    \openup\jot {\mathsurround=0pt}%
>    \everycr={}\tabskip=4pt plus1fil \halign to \displaywidth\bgroup
>        \strut\hfil$\displaystyle{##}$%
>        \tabskip=0pt &$\displaystyle{{}##}$\hfil%
>        \tabskip=4pt plus1fil &&\hfil$\displaystyle{##}$%
>        \tabskip=0pt &$\displaystyle{{}##}$\hfil%
>        \tabskip=4pt plus1fil \crcr}
> \def\stopalign{\crcr\crcr\egroup\egroup\stopformula}

> \def\startgather{\startformula
>    \let\\\cr
>    \null\,\vcenter\bgroup
>    \openup\jot {\mathsurround=0pt}%
>    \ialign\bgroup
>        \strut\hfil$\displaystyle{##}$\hfil
>        \crcr}
> \def\stopgather{\crcr\crcr\egroup\egroup\,\stopformula}

I like it. The only thing I would fix is that instead of the
fixed 0pt and 4pt I would set up some \dimens
(\intersomethingspacing or so). What do you think?

And again, if you have actually been using this code instead of
the one in t-amsl, I'll be happy to add it.

> Also, a similar method can be used to replicate the split environment
> (which, unlike the above, should go inside an explicit \startformula and
> \stopformula pair).  I propose the following definition be added as well:

> \def\startsplit{%
>    \let\\\cr
>    \null\,\vcenter\bgroup
>    \openup\jot {\mathsurround=0pt}%
>    \ialign\bgroup
> \strut\hfil$\displaystyle{##}$&$\displaystyle{{}##}$\hfil
>        \crcr}
> \def\stopsplit{\crcr\egroup\egroup\,}

> This still doesn't address the fact that the lines in the align and gather
> environments are not given individual equation numbers as they should be,
> but I think that is a project for another day.

Yeah, equation numbering in ConTeXt is something which I left
"for another day" myself (I need it for the nath package as

> P.S. A question: is it intentional that the array environment in t-amsl
> produces notably different spacing than LaTeX's array environment?

No, it's simply due to the fact that I haven't even bother to
check if it were or not, because I didn't care either way :)
The parameters are there. We'd only have to check how to use it
within the ConTeXt spacing framework.

Giuseppe "Oblomov" Bilotta

More information about the ntg-context mailing list