April 3rd, 2009 by Stefan Kottwitz
l2tabu, a text informing about obsolete packages and commands, recommends to replace $$…$$ by \[…\], but it doesn’t say a word about the difference between $…$ and \(…\). “Mathmode” by H. Voss does tell something, but it says in v2.40: “In general $…$ is the best choice”. I doubt it, and when I mentioned here some thoughts about that, the author noticed it without much comment. Because of a question on Matheboard today I’ve listed some reasons why I’m preferring the \(…\) environment:
- With \(…\) you can easily distinguish opening and closing of the math mode, in contrary to $…$, mistakes in code could be harder to find with $.
- LaTeX does additional error checks in \(…\), whereas $…$ is plain TeX and is used internally by \(…\).
- \(…\) is working inside alltt-environments, $…$ is causing errors.
- Both \( and \) could be redefined or extended easily.
- Though \( and \) are not robust, possibly causing problems in sectioning for instance, that could be fixed by just loading the fixltx2e package.
In general I recommend to use LaTeX macros instead of corresponding plain TeX commands.
This entry was posted on Freitag, April 3rd, 2009 at 19:37 and is filed under LaTeX General, Mathematics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.