[pdftex] Ambiguity in pdfTeX user manual syntax description

Douglas McKenna doug at mathemaesthetics.com
Sun Jul 3 20:46:59 CEST 2016

Dear pdfTeX user manual maintainers,

In my pdfTeX user manual, version 1.40.15, (circa 2014), the "General definitions and syntax rules" section on page 17 defines

   ⟨open-action spec⟩ → openaction ⟨action spec⟩

where "openaction" on the right hand side of the production rule appears to be a literal.  The documentation for \pdfcatalog syntax on page 20 properly references the left side using

   \pdfcatalog ⟨general text⟩ [ ⟨open-action spec⟩ ]

But in the last paragraph on that page, first sentence, it says

   The ⟨openaction⟩ is the action …

This is ambiguous, because ⟨openaction⟩ is not defined in angle brackets in the General definitions section, but is used as a literal token.  Should this sentence start with

   The ⟨open-action spec⟩ is the action …

or does <openaction> in that sentence refer to the literal token "openaction" used in the General definitions section?


- Doug McKenna
Mathemaesthetics, Inc.

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