# [OS X TeX] Why does this hang so = [OT] electronic books

André Bellaïche abellaic at math.jussieu.fr
Wed Oct 28 07:15:48 EDT 2009

Le 27 oct. 09 à 23:51, Alain Schremmer a écrit :
>
> On Oct 27, 2009, at 6:46 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>>
>> On Oct 27, 2009, at 5:16 PM, Victor Ivrii wrote:
>>
>>> On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 4:46 PM, Jason Davies
>>> <ophiochos at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> the vast majority of the cost of a book is the preparation.
>>>
>>> I am really surprised. My experience is that all typesetting is done
>>> by the author. It may be another story with textbooks but for
>>> research
>>> monographs!
>>> The same story with journals. Reviewers AFAIK are free
>>>
>>
>> Howdy,
>>
>> I guess I interpret the statement as referring to the writing of
>> the book rather than the typesetting.
>>
>> When I was going to graduate school (quite a bit before TeX was
>> around) I understood that books that contained maths were expensive
>> because they required specially trained typesetting talent. Now
>> that there is software that allows for the author typesetting the
>> maths with no special typesetting talent necessary I no longer
>> understand why books are so expensive.
>
> Because money has become an end in itself.
>
> Similarly, during the past thirty years, the profits of the
> "elementary textbooks" publishing industry have gone steadily up
> while the ranking of US students in TIMMS and later PISA have gone
>
> Regards
> --schremmer

« all typesetting is done by the author. » In your dreams! as we say
in French.

Don't you know how much time is spent in a small publishing house

- teaching TeX or LaTeX to authors (some of them are good typesetters,
but others don't bother to put a \ before log or sin, do knot know
anything about ams multline or align macros and just put one $$...$$
after another.

- transforming ugly Scientific Word output into real LaTeX (when you
get say "a b c" in bold, the space between "a" and "b" may be normal,
while the space between "b" and "c" is bold (wider). This is the
tiniest problem we encounter when receiving a so-called LaTeX file
made by an author which prefer to use Scientific Word, but knows

- correcting funny ideas about math typography. For a few recent
examples:
a) A very sophisticated use of vertical spacing (smallskip,
medskip, bigskip) associated to indenting/nonindenting in order to
indicate the more or less strong connection of an idea (paragraph)
with the following one. The answer was: « vertical spacing has no
meaning for the reader », but it took hours to persuade the author,
and at the end I had to fix everything myself.
b) use of \clubsuit for end of proof of a lemma, \diamondsuit
for end of proof of proposition (why cannot I use all these pretty
symbols ?).
c) same or approaching for iremization
d) use < and > for scalar product (instead of \ranle\langle),
yielding awful spacing in the formulas, as in < a [space], b [space]
>= 0. This author was surprised, he had had ten papers published
without any comment from the journal.
e) more than ten ways of typesetting se tof x such that P(x)
in the same book : {x | P(x)}  with instead of the \mid comma, colon,
semicolon, vertical bar, oblique bar, tq, tq., t.q. t. q. (for "tel
que" = "such that", typeset as st, s.t., st. s. t.), with and without

- teaching typography : dont'use quotes for a title, use italics,
don't use capitals there, type XXe (for XXth), not XXème . . .

- teaching mathematical writing: don't write $\prod_{i\in\{1, 2\}} X_i$, write $X_1 \times X_2$, or better $X \times Y$.

- making macros for the authors.

- solving font issues, accented character issues, PC-Mac issues.

- helping authors for figures, giving them Illustrator, making the go-
between from the figure designer to the author and back (in some

- making all the final work to get, say, uniform width for same
meaning strokes, uniform sizes, uniform fonts. (It may happen that
some author uses Times 10 pt for all letters in his figures, then
decides to use \includegraphics[scale = 0.5], or
\includegraphics[scale = 1.5], depending of the figure... You may ask:
why not to ask him to make the corrections? Answer: Because he will
say (in fact, he has said) : "I don't bother. I suppose the reader
doesn't bother either". So persuading the author is some amount of
work also. And you are afraid he may take advantage of the occasion to
make new inventions of this kind . . .

Regards,

André