[texhax] learning tex vs latex

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Mon Nov 2 13:40:04 CET 2009

On Oct 30, 2009, at 10:41 AM, bill lam wrote:

> Are various typesetting rules for typography already
> meant to be in-built inside Tex (binary) or Plain Tex format?

Some are. c.f. \frenchspacing but Plain TeX affords so little in the  
way of formatting that much is left to the user --- that's why Knuth  
has manmac and the eplain macros were created --- there're a number of  
other such macros as well.

Examining the difficulties w/ up-dating _TeX for the Impatient_  
affords an interesting insight into how much of a success LaTeX is and  
how well it has adapted to contemporary expectations for publishing.

> Or it
> is only the Latex format provides such help.

LaTeX provides more of a thorough formatting treatment and more  

There're various efforts to expand on this, c.f., Peter Wilson's  
memoir package for U.S. standards, and Koma script for European. List  
of such classes here:



William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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