[texhax] TeXBook Appendix E online anywhere?

Peter Seibel peter at gigamonkeys.com
Fri May 22 16:08:52 CEST 2009

On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 11:32 PM, Wolfgang Schuster
<schuster.wolfgang at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Am 21.05.2009 um 21:20 schrieb Peter Seibel:
>> Is the TeX code in Appendix E of Knuth's TeXBook available online
>> anywhere. I want to play with the code he used to typeset the book and
>> would rather not have to type it all in by hand.
>> My attempts at Googling it up didn't find anything.
> http://www.ctan.org/get/macros/plain/base/manmac.tex
That's the one, thanks.

And apologies to everyone for my unclear wording. When I said "I want
to play with the code he used to typeset the book" I should have said
something like, "I want to play with the code he typeset the book
with." I already have a store-bought copy of the TeXBook right here on
my table; I'm just trying to avoid manually typing in a bunch of code
before I play with it.

I have my own book to typeset and I'm pretty sure Donald Knuth would
approve of my looking at his macros as a way of figuring out how to
write my own macros to typeset my own book. Why am I pretty sure of
this? Because my book is a book of interviews with famous programmers
including Knuth himself and when I spoke with him he said, among other
things: "There’s this overemphasis on reusable software where you
never get to open up the box and see what’s inside the box. It’s nice
to have these black boxes but, almost always, if you can look inside
the box you can improve it and make it work better once you know
what’s inside the box."


P.S. Yes I know about the existence of LaTeX and memoir but I think my
book is simple enough, typographically, that I can get away with not
having to learn those on top of TeX. Plus it's more in the spirit of
Knuth's philosophy, as evidenced by the quote above, to do it this

P.P.S. The other reason I'm pretty sure Knuth would approve of me
going to almost any lengths to figure out enough TeX to use it for my
book is because there's a danger that otherwise the publisher is
actually going to "typeset" it using Microsoft Word!

Peter Seibel

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