Re: [NTG-context] Bug report, \frac as redefined in m-newmat.tex

On Wed, Aug 04, 2004 at 12:14:29AM +0200, Hans Hagen Outside wrote:
> Brooks Moses wrote:
> > That fixes the problem on my end; thanks!
> >
> > Will you be updating the defintions of \tfrac, \dfrac, and so forth in
> > m-newmat to match?  I admit to not being too sure whether I think it's
> > a good idea to support using math constructs such as \frac
>
> do they need patching? they don't use \mathematics afaik

They don't need patching in the sense of fixing a bug, no -- it's more a
matter of consistency in behavior.

What I see is that there's a list of definitions for \frac, \dfrac,
\tfrac, and various other similar forms, all of which can be used in
math mode only, and do not use \mathematics.

Then, a couple of lines after that, there's the second definition for
\frac, which is the one that needed patching.  This one, unlike the
first definition, is wrapped in \mathematics so that it can work outside
math mode.

So I'm wondering why only \frac has this second definition that allows
it to work outside of math mode.  I would think that things should be
consistent -- either that all of the definitions in the first list
should be changed to use \mathematics, or that \frac should be returned
to the simpler version -- so that \tfrac is still simply "\frac typeset
in text mode" as one would expect it to be.

Even if they're all left in the current form, I'd think that the unused
definition of \frac in the first list should be removed.

My argument for simplifying \frac to take the \mathematics out of it is
that it is a math-mode construct that typesets its arguments in math
mode, and allowing it to be used outside of math mode encourages sloppy
TeXing.  It also hides the point of transition to math mode, meaning
that x and \frac{1}{x} will typeset x differently, which strikes me as
confusing.  I recognize that this is a very debatable position, though,
and that there are at the very least arguments for backwards