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• CommentRowNumber1.
• CommentAuthorEric
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

Not sure if it is a CSS/browser issue, but coloneq ($\coloneq$) is not rendering correctly for me on the nLab (or nForum). It looks like “:-” to me. (Firefox 3.6)

• CommentRowNumber2.
• CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010
• (edited May 23rd 2010)

Same in opera. Why don’t you just use $:=$?

• CommentRowNumber3.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

That’s what “coloneq” is supposed to be! To get := you need coloneqq, two q’s. I have no idea why they named them that way.

• CommentRowNumber4.
• CommentAuthorEric
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

hehe :)

Ok. I think coloneq appears several places on the nLab when it should be coloneqq, but that could be my fault. I’ll add these to special characters.

• CommentRowNumber5.
• CommentAuthorEric
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

I searched for coloneq and replaced it with coloneqq on canonical morphism and smooth loop space. I also added coloneq and coloneqq to special characters.

I might go around to a few pages and replace “:=” with coloneqq (time permitting), but that is not a big deal. I’ll likely just keep a passive eye out for it. This is just a minor cosmetic thing (for a Lab Elf). No big deal.

• CommentRowNumber6.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

There are (at least) two different LaTeX character packages that provide something called \coloneq. In one of them (the one which iTeX mimics), that command produces ‘$\coloneq$’, while you need \coloneqq to produce ‘$\coloneqq$’. In the other, the command produces ‘$\coloneqq$’, while you need (I think) \colonminus to get ‘$\coloneq$’. So people who spell it wrong may just be familiar with the other package.

• CommentRowNumber7.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

• CommentRowNumber8.
• CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

I give your reaction a 10/10!

• CommentRowNumber9.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

I assume that whichever package came second didn’t know about the one that came first; they’re both fairly old and may even predate CTAN. (But that’s just a guess; I don’t really know the history.)

• CommentRowNumber10.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

I’ve never understood why anyone would use \coloneq for $\coloneq$, since there’s nothing “eq” about it. \colonminus makes much more sense.

• CommentRowNumber11.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeMay 23rd 2010

The theory is eq for one bar, eqq for two. Compare \leq (‘$\leq$’) and \leqq (‘$\leqq$’), where that convention comes from and makes more sense.

• CommentRowNumber12.
• CommentAuthorMike Shulman
• CommentTimeMay 24th 2010

I, um, see. I agree that the convention makes sense for \leq and \leqq but that doesn’t mean that it makes any sense for \coloneq and \coloneqq. If that’s the theory, then I think someone wasn’t thinking.

• CommentRowNumber13.
• CommentAuthorTobyBartels
• CommentTimeMay 26th 2010

Well, I like that theory. I even \let \neqq \ne to take advantage of it (and never use \neq, nor \le for that matter). However, I would probably pick \colonminus and \coloneqq as the least ambiguous terms, avoiding \coloneq entirely.