[texhax] verbatim environment problem

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Mon Feb 19 22:24:58 CET 2007

On Feb 19, 2007, at 12:54 , Barbara Beeton wrote:

> justin walker is trying to get the keyboard
> symbol ^ (circumflex) into a coding instruction
> in typewriter style:

To set the record more straight-ish: this is from Don Gingrich; I  
just dragged myself into the middle of the discussion...

> \begin{alltt}
> n  ls .[^.]*
> \end{alltt}
> to which i countered
>> right diagnosis, inadequate solution.
>     Gee.  No one's ever called me inadequate before :-}
> er, that was the solution, not the instigator.
> i wouldn't dare tack that label on someone i've
> never met.  <g>


> more commentary:
>> since the ^ indicates a superscript, the first
>> suggestion will yield a complaint that it's
>> incomplete.
>     I don't see the complaint in the log file.  I'm using TeXShop  
> on Mac OS X,
>     and all I see is some 'underfull \hbox' babble.  No other  
> complaints.
> i'm not sure why there wasn't an error, but see below
> for justin's description of the output (pdf file was
> attached to his message, but not included here).
> i also pointed out that
>     [...] the \uparrow isn't the same shape.
> and suggested a (plain tex) trick:
>   ls .[\char`\^.]*
> from justin:
>     This may be a simple matter of fonts, but I get the following  
> (forgive the
>     PDF in-line), where the order is as above (with your version  
> last):
>     [pdf omitted]
>     To me, the 'uparrow' in the second line looks most correct.   
> The third
>     looks like a 'caret'; the first, like a lowered 'caret' on a '.'.
>     Am I missing something?
> the uparrow is in the symbol font, not typewriter.

Ah!  So it was a font thing...

> in the first example, the circumflex appears as an
> accent since it wasn't given an empty place-marker
> so it would appear by itself.
> the third example, however, appears exactly as it
> does in my mail reader, with the exact ^ character
> as it appears in the cmtt font.  admittedly, i am
> using a low-resolution monospace font for reading mail,
> since it's important for me to be able to distinguish
> input niceties like this.  i suspect justin is using
> some "fancier" font, so he's not used to seeing the
> "old-fashioned" monospace teletype style.

Not me, man.  Being curmudgeonly (cf. below), I do the monospaced  
thing in my reader as well.  For much the same reasons.

> since justin advertises himself thusly,
>     Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon-At-Large
>     Institute for the Absorption of Federal Funds
> i can assure him that i've practiced long and hard
> to be just as curmudgeonly as he is

Perhaps not as long as I, though...

> (just ask any
> of my colleagues on the tugboat production team!
> <g>), though i don't seem to have found such a
> reliable source of funding.

A man does what he must...

Thanks for the detailed explanation!


Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon at Large
Institute for the Absorption of Federal Funds
If it weren't for carbon-14, I wouldn't date at all.

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