Archive for November, 2007

In Helvetica now

I have many things I would like to write about, but I figured I would take a few seconds to express my annoyance that because my hostname now ends in ».ch«, Google automatically assumes that I want my interface and searches to be in German by default.  Which I  probably also really annoys the third of the country where German is not the primary language.

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Absolutely done

I am finally absolutely and completely done with my doctorate. There is no doubt that I am now Doctor Washburn. On Tuesday, I deposited my dissertation, which proved to be more of an adventure than I expected.

For reasons I have not bothered investigating, LaTeX numbered the third page in the document as "ii" when it should have been "iii" (the first two pages are unnumbered).  However, this was the only mistake in terms of formatting that the ruler-lady noticed, so I only needed to reprint the pages numbered using lowercase Roman numerals.  She even offered up some of her spare sheets of the required 100% cotton, 20lb (or greater), acid free paper so that I could reprint the needed pages.  However, upon returning to Levine Hall to make the correction (\setcounter{page}{3} on the dedication page) and reprinting, I determined that we must have made an off-by-one error and the ruler-lady had given me one too few sheets.  So then I dashed off to the Penn Bookstore to purchase some more 100% cotton, etc. paper.  But I was able to get it all fixed and was even able to deposit the corrected pages without making a new appointment.

As far as double spacing goes, I went with a \baselinestretch of 1.5 as one of my colleagues said that he did so and it worked for him.  In practice, the ruler-lady did not actually ever lift her ruler from the table – not even to check the margins. She did ask me what size typeface I was using and whether my abstract was double spaced.

I have put a copy of the document that I deposited online.  I'm almost certain that the careful reader will find arbitrarily many typos, but I am also certain that I could expend an arbitrary amount of effort making it a better document and the returns were already diminishing. Still, if you do find any mistakes, please e-mail me so that I can fix them before I print up copies of the "director's cut" version via Lulu.

I am hoping that I will now have a little more time to write here on ∃xistential Type. I have a few non-typography related things that I will probably write up soon, for those of you bored by my endless tweaking of Gentzen Symbol.

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Initial version of Gentzen nearly complete

Gentzen is nearing completion, or at least the version that contains all the symbols I need for my dissertation.

New draft of Gentzen

I'm not very happy with how \preceq has turned out, but I am not sure just yet how to improve it.

I needed to create \cap and \cup because of a new table I created based upon one committee member's suggestion.

I create a large left brace,{, to replace the standard one I had been using temporarily.

I also needed to create a long version of \Rightarrow, because I used \implies in a few places and just discovered that was created by overlapping \Rightarrow and =.

Finally, I made a few adjustments to \forall and \in based upon the feedback I had received. I'm not sure how obvious the changes are.

I also just noticed that there must be something wrong with the asterisk. I think I have that sorted out in my working version now.

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Define double spacing

I just spent far too long with someone at the graduate office trying to get a concrete understanding of how they define double spacing. I tried my best to explain that I cannot just put an extra »line« between each line of my document.

All information I have been able to obtain elsewhere seems to indicate that what they really want, but do not seem to know it, is one and a one-half line spacing. That is in LaTeX you would set \baselinestretch to 1.5. I am almost certain that this is what I should be doing, but the woman seemed to think that I wanted there to be twice as much space between baselines.

I tried to take the approach of getting concrete and asking that if I used a 10pt font, what should the measurement be between the bottom of one line and the next. However, to my surprise the woman I spoke with claimed that they do not actually measure this, they just look at it and »know«.

So we agreed that I would just fax her a sample and she would let me know whether it looked correct.

Surprisingly, the definition of double spacing is something that the Chicago Manual of Style does not address.

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Success

I've successfully defended my dissertation.  My committee would like some revisions to the way I motivate a few things in my introductory chapter, but that should definitely be possible before I leave the country.

I could really use a nap.

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Another competitor

Some e-mail from the MinionPro LaTeX package mailing list this morning reminded me that it is worth also pointing out MnSymbol and providing a comparison. It is generated from a METAFONT source, where the vast majority of its symbols are rendered using round brush.

MnSymbol table for comparison

MnSymbol is intended as companion for Adobe Minion Pro, but I personally do not really see that. The symbols that do come with Minion Pro all have flat endpoints. It does not come with \llbracket and \rrbracket, so I've replaced those with capital X.

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STIX symbol sample

I just put together the following table of symbols from the STIX fonts for comparison. However, comparing this image with the others is made difficult by the fact that it is was generated by hand in InkScape (grumble, Adobe CS2 and Leopard, grumble) rather from a LaTeX document. Therefore, it was difficult to accurately rasterize the vector image such that I know the relative sizes and weights are accurately portrayed.

STIX symbol sample (corrected)

Update: oxlahun noted that I forgot to put \leadsto in the table.

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Defense against the dark arts

This Thursday at 9AM  I will defend my thesis against my committee, and anyone else that shows up and attempts to ask me difficult questions. But really, who would want to get up that early to do that?

Assuming that I can successfully disarm two assistant and two full professors,  I will be all set to start working on Scala related things at EPFL.  Of course, I've bought a plane ticket to Geneva, Switzerland for the 26th, so unless my rhetorical-fu is truly mediocre, that will be happening one way or another.

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Competing math fonts

Last I had read, the STIX Font Project was aiming for a September 2005 release of their fonts for mathematical and scientific typesetting. They finally made a beta release on October 31, 2007. They are designed to be »Times compatible«, so I am not sure how they would look with AMS Euler. The beta release does not include LaTeX infrastructure, so I do not expect I will take the time to make a detailed comparison with Gentzen. Maybe later tonight I will try to prepare the STIX version of the table of glyphs I have been showing as I make progress.

I'm not sure I can really call it competition because there is no way I can hope to produce so many glyphs by myself, not to mention a bold weight version of all the glyphs. If I was using a more declarative approach, say using METAFONT, it would be a little easier to create the vast number of arrows and things by reusing common components. However, I have not really found a way to generate nice high resolution proofs using METAFONT. I have been kind of considering Gentzen to be a lifelong project (or at least until I get bored with it), so maybe I will eventually write something like METAFONT that is more modern.

I had read about this on Slashdot a couple days ago, but Alan reminded me that I should post about it.

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Getting closer to completion

I finally fixed most of the issues that were preventing me from building my dissertation using Gentzen. Here is an inference rule out of my dissertation, using Gentzen:

Gentzen version of an inference rule

And here is the same rule using the Euler package:

Euler version of an inference rule

Unfortunately, the column width of this theme does not allow making the images much wider. It is fairly difficult to get a good idea of the differences by looking at them. So I've also provide page 29 of my dissertation in both versions: Gentzen and Euler. It is also a good way to emphasize that, on a printed page, many of the details I've agonized over are pretty subtle if you are not looking for them. Some of the spacing is off in places in the Gentzen version, but I need to investigate further whether that is because of the font itself or my macros for it.

However, I've also provide an update version of my table of symbols:

Gentzen prototype image of the day

Notably, I've finished \leadsto, \in, \bullet, and \cdot. I've included \star from one of the LaTeX symbol fonts I believe.

In any event, I am certainly interested in feedback — assuming there are opinions on how it is looking.

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