# [NTG-context] strange output in math display mode

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Dec 23 10:17:11 CET 2015

On 12/23/2015 3:19 AM, Alan BRASLAU wrote:
> So it it a TeX programming limitation.
>
> The risk of leading to an exponential number of branches is addressed
> by Knuth at the beginning of Chapter 17 of the TeXbook (p. 139):
> "Mathematicians tend to \quote{overuse} \over when they first begin to
> typeset their own work on a system like \TEX." ...
>
> At one point, I went back to using \over rather than \frac as the later
> was broken and gave no output. This has since been fixed, but I stayed
> with \over as I find primary operators to be much more elegant syntax
> than multiple argument macros. It is too bad that luatex does not
> employ a better programming solution, as the use of \frac{}{} leads to
> ugly mathematical source code.

Well, it is not impossible in mkiv do make something 1\alansover2 that
adjusts itself to some settings (i could probably do it right now) but
who will use it (apart from you) and who would document it then ..

> I guess that I should not worry about it too much since, as Knuth points
> out in Chapter 17, overuse of \over, etc. leads to ugly results
> anyways, just as well as an overuse of \text in mathematical formulas
> (as we physicists tend to abuse) also leads to ugly mathematics.

Hans

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