[NTG-context] new upload / more math

Hans Hagen j.hagen at xs4all.nl
Fri Apr 1 10:02:24 CEST 2022


Hi,

As most of you know by now, Mikael and I are working on a math support 
upgrade. In order to let users keep up we uploaded a new version. We 
have been revisioning some of the more obscure constructs where we have 
  no clue of usage, like pmod, bmod, bordermatrix etc, commands that we 
  took (and reimplemented) decades ago from plain TeX or AMS TeX, 
assuming that these are standards.

In this release, encouraged by the positive response we received from 
users regarding the new simplealignment construction, and in particular 
regarding the self-explaining sesac, we have decided to introduced some 
new constructs. First out is

\startformula
\startxıɹʇɐɯ
   \NC a_1 \NC b_1 \NC c_1 \NR
   \NC a_2 \NC b_2 \NC c_2 \NR
   \NC a_3 \NC b_3 \NC c_3 \NR
\stopxıɹʇɐɯ
\stopformula

for rotation matrices. This was demanded for some advanced math courses 
that Mikael teaches. It might inspire users to come up with demands that 
suits their own obscure but nevertheless interesting math.

At some point we realized that, with (also) scientific publishers (of 
math journals) moving to MS Word and Indesign, we operate in a rather 
peculiar niche and the fact that we use an upgraded and more granular 
math engine, made us wonder how to communicate all these new features 
and standards that we set. It is for that reason that from now on we 
will operate under the CMS umbrella. That abbreviation stands for 
ConTeXt Math Society. It has no funny swirly TeX logo which itself is a 
statement: in Unicode math script and calligraphic alphabets are so 
messed up that it is impossible to have a reliable and predictable 
rendering. We go for Dutch and Swedish simplicity in the spirit of W.N. 
Lansburgh: back to the times before TeX was written (1964). There will 
be no limits and boundaries set. (Talking math limits and boundaries: 
these can already go everywhere anyway, as can fences.)

So, when we mention CMS, we mean serious math business, but kindergarten 
math is also embraced! There are no consequences for users: ConTeXt 
users with a proven math track record are automatically a member, but we 
are not too picky, everyone is welcome. We don't have honorary members 
but Taco (the first ConTeXt math user) and Aditya (the most experienced 
  one) might consider themselves as such. Mikael Sundqvist is the 
chairman, which is a livelong appointment. (A nice side effect is that 
with Arthur living in Sweden too, that gives us a very strong position 
in the TeX landscape there.)

So, today's upload is sort of special: welcome CMS (ConTeXt Math 
Shines), goodbye AMS (American Math Second). Of course we're open for 
suggestions and it being an open society all voices will be heard, but 
only proper (retro) math cf Lansburgh will be honored. Of course we only 
listen to ConTeXt users and, as that package is not supposed to be used 
for serious math, we don't bother about the few publishers left that 
still do math.

Are we done? Not yet. We're in the middle of (colorful and graphic) 
alignment ornaments and after that we're going to expand and improve 
multi-line display formulas and equation numbering.

It will be no coincidence that the cover of Landburghs book about math 
typesetting has a prominent 'AWE' embedded in a logo with a lion on top: 
we hope all users are in awe about what the TeX lion can do.

Mikael S & Hans H

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