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RE: ANN: New Math on the Web Products Announced

From: Wayne S Lewis <lewisway@hcc.hawaii.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 16:26:28 -1000 (HST)
To: Paul Topping <PaulT@mathtype.com>
cc: "'Elliotte Rusty Harold'" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>, Bruce Virga <BruceV@mathtype.com>, "'www-math@w3.org'" <www-math@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.05.10010161624160.17593-100000@pulua2b.hcc.hawaii.edu>

	Hear, hear, Paul.  From a mathematician who's done his time 
with TeX and looks forward to the post-TeX generation, I concur
whole-heartedly with your analysis.

	Thanks,

	   Wayne


On -1 xxx -1, Paul Topping wrote:

> Dear Mr. Harold,
> 
> Whereas I can't vouch for the number of significant digits in this number,
> it was definitely not "plucked out of thin air". We did a survey about a
> year ago of publishing companies and typesetting services that they contract
> with. One of the questions we asked was something like "what fraction of
> material processed by you containing math was in Microsoft Word format?" The
> 75% number was a result of that survey.
> 
> There are several points I can make that might help explain the difference
> between our number and your perception of the actual value:
> 
> - Although the statement didn't clarify this, we were referring to the
> format in which the documents were originally authored, rather than their
> published format. However, in the context of converting documents to HTML,
> this is reasonable. No one actually authors technical documents in
> PostScript and PDF. So TeX and Word are really the only competitors here.
> 
> - I will grant that many authors in the physics and math areas write
> documents using TeX. However, many other areas of science use math more and
> more and do not use TeX. Many college students these days don't even bother
> to learn TeX.
> 
> - Teachers at the high school level on up create large amounts of material
> containing equations (tests and other classroom materials). Until you get to
> the 4-year college level, most of these teachers use MS Word and have never
> even heard of TeX.
> 
> I don't say this in order to slam TeX. It produces fine-looking output. It's
> just too hard to learn for most people.
> 
> Paul
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Paul Topping                          http://www.mathtype.com
> President                             email: pault@mathtype.com
> Design Science, Inc.                  phone: 562-433-0685
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]
> > Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 6:42 PM
> > To: Bruce Virga; 'www-math@w3.org'
> > Subject: Re: ANN: New Math on the Web Products Announced
> > 
> > 
> > At 11:52 AM -0700 10/16/00, Bruce Virga wrote:
> > 
> > >  "Since 75% of the
> > >world's scientific and technical documents are Microsoft 
> > Word documents with
> > >Equation Editor and MathType equations, it's very important 
> > that our users
> > >have a way to present those documents on the Web.
> > 
> > Now how do you know that? It sounds to me like a figure plucked out 
> > of thin air. Certainly it's decidedly untrue for all the scientific 
> > and technical documents I deal with. I guess it depends on your 
> > definition of "technical" but I'd say that by far the most common 
> > format I run across in science is the TeX document or PostScript or 
> > PDF documents generated from a TeX document. HTML is a distant 
> > second. Word doesn't even merit a mention.
> > 
> > The only way to move Word up in the rankings would be to include the 
> > vast quantities of computer documentation that don't use equations 
> > like software manuals and computer books. A lot of this is written in 
> > Word, but since almost none of it uses equations, that hardly matters 
> > here.
> > -- 
> > 
> > +-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
> > | Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
> > +-----------------------+------------------------+-------------------+
> > |                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
> > |              http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/books/bible/               |
> > |   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764532367/cafeaulaitA/   |
> > +----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
> > |  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
> > |  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/     |
> > +----------------------------------+---------------------------------+
> > 
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 16 October 2000 22:26:39 GMT

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