[pdftex] Plain TeX commands.

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Mon Mar 28 18:25:59 CEST 2005

```On Monday 28 March 2005 03:20 pm, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> John R. Culleton wrote:
> >Pdftex is based on the original TeX plus plain.tex combination as
> >described in the TeXbook.
>
> No. pdfTeX is an extended TeX engine. If you load
> the plain TeX macros, that's up to you.
>
> >My question is this: laying aside \special commands for the
> >moment, are there plain TeX cammands that no longer exist at all
> >in pdftex?
>
> you should think of primitives, not "plain TeX". pdftex
> does not take away any primitives, but simply adds some
> more.
>
> There is no complicated gotcha here.

Perhaps I was unclear. I am concerned with the specific "as
distributed" pdftex program, the one I get when I type

pdftex foo.tex.

In that package I find that most plain tex commands still work. For
example \bye is really a plain tex macro, and not a primitive.
Yet it seems to work.

It is entirely possible that the pdftex program as distributed
has all the plain tex commands included,  But maybe it has only a
subset of plain tex.  That is the purpose of my question. I am
concerned with the base+format version of pdftex that comes with
the standard distributions, like Miktex or TeXlive.

I am aware that availability does not correspond to usefulness.
At the moment however I am starting with the question of
availability.