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Re: \mathcal vs \mathscr

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 17:59:33 +0100
Message-Id: <200607051659.k65GxX6B017503@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: robertm@dessci.com
Cc: dmharvey@math.harvard.edu, www-math@w3.org

> Hi David,

> There aren't any plans now, but it's a possibility.  Can you remind me
> if the two calligraphic LaTeX fonts just font variants? 

Question was posed to a different David, but my own feeling is that
these are just font variants. The original core set of TeX fonts had
just calligraphic fonts and these got used mainly where traditionally one
would have used script, just because it was easier to go with the
somewhat idiosyncratic design of the CM calligraphic than it was to
introduce a new math family. When script fonts for TeX came available
there was some discussion as to whether they should re-use the existing
\cal/\mathcal command names or use new names such as \mathscr.
mostly I think now they use new names, with a user option of overloading
the old one, as otherwise you sometimes end up with unexpected problems
with spacing or edge cases of characters supported in one font but not
the other when the script font package is loaded.  So really I think
that the widespread use of both calligraphic and script in TeX is more of a
historical accident in font distribution than anything else. That said,
I'm sure that there are examples of people having used both alphabets in
the same formula to represent different things. If you make a facility
available for a decade or two, someone's bound to use it.

Received on Wednesday, 5 July 2006 17:00:06 UTC

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