# [texhax] TeX vs LaTeX primitives

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Mon Dec 30 12:26:49 CET 2013

Am Mon, 30 Dec 2013 10:55:57 +0000 schrieb Philip Taylor:

> Ulrike Fischer wrote:

>>> 2) How in general distinguish truly LaTeX macros?

>> By looking in the code or the documentation.

> Factually accurate, but hardly satisfactory.

Well one could also use \show to identify the primitives

> If LaTeX 3 is to
> be a new language which does not carry with it the legacy of
> TeX primitives, then it should also have a new syntax so that
> its macros can be immediately distinguishable from TeX primitives.

Latex 3 commands can be easily recognized. It also copies and hides
TeX primitives so when latex 3 takes over (will be a real format)
things like \hbox will no longer refer to tex primitives but are
either undefined or user commands. See the documentation source3.

But currently nothing prevents people from using (inadvertendly or
by intention) tex primitives.

--
Ulrike Fischer
http://www.troubleshooting-tex.de/