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

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Thu Dec 3 13:33:52 CET 2015

On 12/3/2015 3:16 AM, Maggyero wrote:

> 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.
 > ...
> 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.,

It's a bit different .. traditional tex has 8 bit fonts. Also, in 
traditional tex math families were implemented using text fonts while in 
opentype (unicode) math the alphabets come from the math fonts (with 
math properties). And, as there is some basic ligaturing built in the 
traditional math code path it will deal with ligatures in such a font. 
you can consider that an intentional side effect of using text fonts.

The context unicode math implementation is different (and quite likely 
rather different from latex too, if only because it already was done 
many years ago). Also, the implementation is quite ok (and actually 
pretty advanced) so changing something in the-latex-way is no option (in 
whatever way it is done, which i must admit i don't know). Most context 
math evolved over time and the mentioned commands were introduced 
already in mkii when aditya extended some code.

Anyway, as we have \mathtext (aka \text) we can also have an extra 
command \mathword which nils the spacing because that is actually what 
you ask for: space not being a space (math spacing is something else, it 
would enclose each character with math spacing which contradicts with 

I'll send you some code to play with,


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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