From: David Allsopp <dra-news@me...> - 2007-04-19 11:45:31
> There is no sense in doing that. Reading the TeXbook by the way doesn't
> learn you the internals of TeX.
First page of the Preface - "Everything you need to know about TeX is
explained here somewhere". You need Computers and Typesetting Vol. B if you
want to follow the code but you appear to confusing "internals" with
"implementation". The double-dangerous-bend-sign-sections explain the
end-users' aspect of all the processes fairly clearly (even if you have to
refer to other books for algorithms such as weighted Dijkstra that are
regarded as "obvious" to a computer scientist).
> Essentially what TeX does it optimizes graphs and it sets the vortexes
> of these graphs with constraints. (I did some graph theory and that is
> the way I understand it) And TeX does it mathematically complete, even
> Turing complete.
Yes, but that's only a (small) part of TeX --- namely line-breaking and
page-breaking. IMHO the processing of math mode and the hyphenation
algorithms are also major parts of the TeX engine.
I find that LaTeX gets given far too much credit for things that TeX (with
or without Plain) can already do. And --- with reference to
Christopher/Ulrike's pending flame war :o) --- I use Plain TeX because LaTeX
offers nothing useful for *me* that I can't already do in my specific tasks.
That's not to say that some future task I have to do wouldn't be more
appropriate in LaTeX, in which case I would devote the time to figuring out
how to use it properly in the same way as I have tried to with TeX. I prefer
having total control over the starting point (Plain TeX arguably is a
smaller so simpler starting point than LaTeX) but that's probably because
I'm a programmer.
I *never* recommend Plain TeX to my MS Word converts but instead point them
in the direction of LaTeX because it's easier to get started with and there
are many more LaTeX users than Plain users.
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