[TUHS] GNU eqn clarifications and reforms

G. Branden Robinson g.branden.robinson at gmail.com
Fri Jun 16 13:20:55 AEST 2023

[looping groff list back in]

At 2023-06-15T22:18:08-0400, Douglas McIlroy wrote:
> I am not convinced that using special characters rather than in-line
> eqn is a good thing. It means learning a whole new vocabulary.  Quick,
> what's the special character for Greek psi?

\[*q] !

But I may suffer from an excessive familiarity with this material.

(Checking myself, I got it right!  Part of my mnemonic is that there are
24 letters to map from our Latin alphabet to Greek, drop 'j' and 'v' as
"Late Latin" variants of 'i' and 'u'[1], and then most of the rest map
intuitively with a handful of exceptions that have to be memorized, psi
being one of them.)

> I have found that, for a sequence of displayed equations as in an
> algebraic derivation, a pile often looks more coherent than a sequence
> of EQ-EN pairs. The pile can even contain interleaved comments, as in
> Hoare-style proofs.

Yes.  I suspect there is a widely held misconception that eqn
distinguishes displayed equations from inline ones.  It doesn't--a macro
package might, but even then, nothing internal to the equation's
typography is different.  I guess this is a hangover from TeX?  You need
one rule: use "smallover" instead of "over" if you're trying to pack a
fraction into running text.


[1] Which isn't _quite_ correct but works for this purpose.
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