[NTG-context] Reconciling unicode-math with LaTeX2e mathematics

Maggyero maggyero at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 03:22:26 CET 2015

Hans Hagen wrote:
> you need to be more explicit about the problems you encounter (minimal
examples for instance)

To be more precise (please see the enclosed P.D.F. file), I would like the
same font possibilities in ConTeXt math mode as shown in the following
table from Will Robertson's talk at 41 min 40 s for LaTeX unicode-math


In both LaTeX and ConTeXt, we have two kinds of fonts:
— a text font: multi-letter words;
— a math font: single letter words.

In math mode, using LaTeX, text fonts can use both
— text spacing: $\textit{abc ffi}$ gives abc ffi;
— math spacing: $\mathit{abc ffi}$ gives abcffi.

In math mode, using LaTeX, math fonts can use only math spacing: $abc ffi$
gives abcffi.
($abc ffi$ is equivalent to $\symit{abc ffi}$—\symxx commands were
introduced in the 2015 update of the unicode-math package by Will
Robertson, allowing upright, slanted, bold, etc. math fonts with \symup,
\symsl \symbf, etc., respectively.)

However, in math mode, using ConTeXt, text fonts can use only TEXT spacing
(no MATH spacing commands): $\text{\it abc ffi}$ gives abc ffi. So this is
the FEATURE that needs to be added. I suggest that you implement a new set
of commands called \textxx for this (text fonts with MATH spacing in math
mode—please see the enclosed P.D.F. file).

As far as math fonts are concerned using ConTeXt in math mode, it's okay:
$\it{abc ffi}$ gives abcffi. But you should note that in the source of
ConTeXt you (Hans) introduced \mathit (and \mathup & \mathtf, \mathsl,
\mathbf, etc.) as an equivalent of \it (\tf, \sl, \bf, etc., respectively)
for "A.M.S. LaTeX compatibility", though in A.M.S. LaTeX the \mathxx
commands are not MATH fonts but TEXT fonts with math spacing (as pointed
out by Will Robertson in the very first seconds from 41 min 40 s of his
talk in the link above) so it not compatible (but that's fine since the
name \mathxx in A.M.S. LaTeX was not very well chosen in the first place
but thereafter kept for backward compatibility, so that in ConTeXt we can
keep it used for MATH fonts instead and introduce \textxx for TEXT fonts
with math spacing, as suggested in the previous paragraph).

Please see the enclosed P.D.F. file that sums everything up to understand
visually what I mean with the missing feature I request (adding new \textxx
commands for text fonts with MATH spacing in math mode), and let me know
what you think.

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