[OS X TeX] Slight OT but fun: Crazy TeX code

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Thu Oct 12 21:53:40 CEST 2006

On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:58 PM, Jung-Tsung Shen wrote:

> This is slightly OT but is fun. I ran across a website that contains
> some lines of codes (termed "Crazy TeX" in the page):
> http://latex.olympus.het.brown.edu/
> (scroll slilghtly down the page to about 1/3 of the page).

It should work perfectly if compiled as Plain TeX.

> I compiled the codes and the results were really amazing (there were
> some error messages on compiling, I simply ignored them. The results
> didn't come out perfect).
> Could someone explain to me, in plain English, how does the code  
> work? :-)

It was done by David Carlisle and he did it by working backward from  
the text and manually working up the most efficient way to represent  
it as TeX code using looping and other structures, playing w/  
catcodes &c.

It's on CTAN as xii.tex and there's some discussion of it on usenet  
in comp.text.tex --- working out how it works is a pretty good  
indicator of a TeX wizard.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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