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Re: more LaTeX (was: Re: emacs and beginning of lines)

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: more LaTeX (was: Re: emacs and beginning of lines)
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:23:33 +0200

Dnia 2014-09-10, o godz. 03:12:09
Emanuel Berg <> napisaƂ(a):

> Marcin Borkowski <> writes:
> >> When I wrote what you quote, I meant
> >> general-purpose, like C. But now that you say it,
> >> LaTeX offers a borderline case: the programming
> >> parts of it, I don't want to be filled, but I want
> >> the text part of it to be (perhaps with the
> >> modification I suggested).
> >
> > How do you decide which is which?
> It has to be based on where the point is and what is
> before/after it.

No, I mean that with some documents it might be non-obvious whether
the fragment the point is in is a text or programming one.

> > Doesn't the difference between TeX and HTML you mean
> > here lie in the fact that TeX is Turing-complete and
> > HTML is not?
> Well, Turing-complete is CS lingo and I only did CS at
> the university... But what I remember is that it wasn't
> easy to apply those paradigms and classification to
> technology, not then and not now. Feel free to try,
> tho.
> No, I think HTML isn't programming because of the lack
> of algorithms. HTML is also domain-specific, marking-up
> text so that it can be displayed and interlinked in
> certain ways. But where you can do seemingly anything
> in LaTeX HTML is very limited when it comes to logic
> and "execution" flow. It is just a 1:1 textual
> representation of what will turn up in the browser. But
> actually that doesn't have to be bad. I like static web
> pages that only present textual material, with a couple
> of images, and a link to the "next" section. So even
> though LaTeX seems to be much more powerful than HTML,
> I don't wish for a "LaTeX-web"...

Well, it seems that you just expressed the difference between
Turing-complete and the rest in an informal way;-).

> > And there are a few numerical engines, a few drawing
> > libraries, one regex library and *a lot* of other
> > things /programmed/ in TeX.
> Yes. This is the coolest thing I did in LaTeX:
> (But it doesn't contain anything dynamic.)

Nice, especially the QR-code;).

> But, I did a CV once which used this chunk of code
> (which I didn't wrote) to automatically update my age
> (ha! how depressing to have to do that each year while
> the rest of the CV stays the same...)

Very nice, too!

> But it is a good example. I think the programming in
> LaTeX is good, and probably it will be the most useful
> with and around documents and typesetting.
> > (I read an article about some LaTeX code generating
> > tests in differential equations. With solutions.
> > Though it didn't actually solve them, it first chose
> > the solutions (pseudo-randomly) and then generated an
> > equation with that very solution.) So while it is
> > indeed a domain-specific language, it /can/ be
> > coerced to doing really strange things.
> Yeah, it reminds me of groff (roff) which is also like
> that. But just because you can do lots in both doesn't
> mean a more modern solution isn't preferable all the
> same (like C, walkie-talkies, and e-mails).

That's why LuaTeX is the cool new thing in the TeX world.  (Well,
maybe no longer "new", it's around for almost 10 years now, but it has
been gaining momentum steadily, and is being more and more widely


Marcin Borkowski
Adam Mickiewicz University

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