# [texhax] Latex: dumbing down? (fwd)

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Aug 26 06:44:34 CEST 2006

>>>>> "Philip" == Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk> writes:

> Barbara Beeton wrote:

>> i have no intention of starting a flame war, so we're even.

> I'm used to my contributions starting flame wars, so what the h at ll
> :-))) My greatest sympathy lies with John R CUlleton, when he
> writes

>> Perhaps LaTeX is not the right version of TeX to be working with.

> and I go on to sympathise with the views of Michael Barr and
> Barbara Beeton; but I think the real kernel of the issue is in
> John's message :

>> Until we adopt a base language that allows full use of the
>> primitives of TeX, we are working with one hand tied behind our
>> backs.

No, there is absolutely nothing you can do in plain TeX which you
can't do in LaTeX.

At the moment (LaTeX2e) the plain macros are still accessible but it
is much safer to use LaTeX macros.  Package programmers have to use
plain TeX macros/primitives in some cases, for instance to parse
arguments (\def\foo(#1,#2)#3{...}).

LaTeX users should never use plain TeX code.  LaTeX package
programmers can use plain TeX code and they sometimes depend on it.
But they have to know exactly what they are doing.

LaTeX-3 will come with its own programming language and all TeX
macros/primitives will be \undefined.

I don't understand why you sympathise with the views of John Culleton.
Nothing he said in the past had been helpful for anyone.  Everything
he says is pure crap.  He tries to provide advice to LaTeX users but
he actually does not know anything about LaTeX.

The best thing he can do for LaTeX users is to simply shut up.

Regards,
Reinhard

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