[tex-live] Technical showstoppers for TL2003

Vladimir Volovich vvv at vsu.ru
Mon Sep 15 18:50:48 CEST 2003

"PO" == Petr Olsak writes:

 >> no - it was only a simplified example. if you had looked at how
 >> LaTeX does this, you would had found out that what i suggested is
 >> workable solution. The above should be changed to:
 >> \IeC{\textasciicircum} \IeC{\textasciicircum}ef

 PO> Where is the simplicity?

were we talking about simplicity, or whether it's possible to solve
the problem of verbatim typesetting using only macros, and without
any changes to TeX the program like encTeX?

 >> however, there are no problems... see how LaTeX works and solves
 >> all this at the MACRO level without any non-standard hacks like
 >> encTeX.

 PO> I am very sorry that my email is now not concerned to the primary
 PO> subject of this thread. But I can't leave the sentence: "encTeX
 PO> is non-standard hack"

yes, it is a non-standard hack. non-standard is because it's an
incompatible extension to TeX, and hack because it's of very limited
usage; something which is not necessary.

 PO> without my answer because there is a danger that many tex-live@
 PO> readers can reject the encTeX without getting more information
 PO> about it.

 PO> IMHO, encTeX is the natural extension of TeX. I mean that if
 PO> Knuth were managed and developed his TeX more long time then he
 PO> would be adopted the similar extension as encTeX into his
 PO> program.

what makes you believe in this? :-)

with encTeX, you put the input encoding into the format file. so the
TeX engine is only able to process documents in ONE FIXED INPUT
ENCODING without regeneration of the format file. do you find it
elegant and useful? i don't. in my opinion, encTeX is totally useless,
and moreover a harmful extension which only complicates matters but
not simplifies them...

 PO> On the opposite hand: the LaTeX is good example of the hack
 PO> because many things are solved on the boundary of the possibility
 PO> and unpossibility.  There exists LaTeX developer(s), who agrees
 PO> that LaTeX is a hack. The simplicity is lost: this is very big
 PO> problem of this macro package.

LaTeX may be a hack is some sense because of limitations of the TeX
engine (which it may overcome by using eTeX). But encTeX is not going
to simplify anything for LaTeX - eTeX and Omega do.


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