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**To**:*Ulrik Vieth <vieth@thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de>***Subject**:**Re: radical thoughts****From**:*Thierry Bouche <Thierry.Bouche@ujf-grenoble.fr>***Date**: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 18:36:17 +0100 (MET)**Cc**:*math-font-discuss@cogs.susx.ac.uk*

Concernant « Re: radical thoughts », Ulrik Vieth écrit : « Perhaps Thierry could provide some references. The difficulty here is to choose one! virtually anything published in France before the advent of TeX used upright shape for Roman capitals & greek alphabets (u&lc). Constants (\e, \pi, digits e.g.) are also set upright whereas variables & functions are italic. Old issues of The annales de l'institut Fourier conformed to the above rule until around 1987... Les annales de l'École normale sup. have kept this appearance longer (using a sort of Times/MathPi combination). You could also check the scanned pages from a book of Henri Cartan as shown at the URL: http://www.loria.fr/tex/fontes/maths/cartan.html http://www.loria.fr/tex/fontes/maths/cartan-english.html and it is still what is advized by the `lexique des règles en usage à l'imprimerie nationale'. However one could view many of these traditional rules as bad consequences of the high price (and weight!) of lead founts. I suppose that printers had one greek fount for the humanities, one math fount & a few text founts. I also suppose that french printers had a copy of the didot greeks (upright) while english ones had that famous inclined greek i saw in bringhurst' book. Hence the tradition. Maybe now that these limitations are behind us we could redesign all this on a more rational basis (greek letters being italic if denoting variables, upright if constants, but then greek caps should be mostly italic too)...? I'm certain however that the encodings/software should not decide for us what will be our next tradition. Thierry Bouche. ----- thierry.bouche@ujf-grenoble.fr http://www-fourier.ujf-grenoble.fr/~bouche/

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