# [NTG-context] integral symbol

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Wed Dec 28 18:40:05 CET 2016

On 12/28/2016 6:14 PM, Alan Braslau wrote:
> Hi Hans, Hi list,
>
> This is similar to what we have discussed earlier on this list and
> elsewhere regarding \over vs. \frac. (I agree with Knuth that {a \over
> b} is *much* more readable in running source code than \frac{a}{b} but
> have resigned myself to use \frac{}{}, as this can be made better
> behaved and gives a much better result.)
>
> Other traditional TeX constructs like \int^a_b have their charm (and
> need to remain supported, just like is \over), but I support
> introducing and encouraging the use of new constructs like your example
> below. An alternative syntax (that could co-exist) would be admitting
> $\left\int ... \right.$, but I do not know what limitations there might
> be with both the (luatex) engine and with ConTeXt.

the tricky part there is that int has super and subscripts while left /
right are different animals ... i looked into this (in the engine) and
decided to delay implementing that (i might do it some day but it's sort
of tricky to keep compatibility)

also, ints are upright (extensible or stepwise sizes) or slanted
(stepwise sizes) so even if we support something there are some
limitations due to lack of font support (could be dealt with in due time)

> The problem with extensions, like always, in straying from traditional
> TeX is interchangeability of code, or, more importantly, in the
> learning curve obstacles that this introduces to traditional TeX (and
> LaTeX) thinking. I know that at some level we do not care, for we often
> make (good) design choices that improve the syntax of ConTeXt.
>
> Perhaps we can use this thread to discuss other cases (like \sum, ...)
> that present difficulties and then decide on good solutions.

sure ...

Hans

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