[pdftex] Origin of pdftex

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Mon Apr 15 17:29:27 CEST 2002

At 10:00 AM 4/15/2002 -0400, John Culleton wrote:
>It was my understanding that the basic tex program written by DEK was
>frozen forever. So how did pdftex come to be?

tex is not that frozen, only the basic tex and plain tex; knuth explictly 
invites people to extend tex

>Is it a fmt like plain

no, a binary

>or LaTeX or is it a rewrite of the basic program?
>Details appreciated.

it's an extension,

(1) an extra backend
(2) extensions to the par break routine (esp protruding and hz)
(3) specific pdf features (needed since there is no separate backend)

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