[tex-eplain] Eplain article for TUGboat

Greg Black gjb at gba.oz.au
Fri Dec 23 06:17:07 CET 2005

On 2005-12-21, Oleg Katsitadze wrote:

> Karl and I have tried to put together an article on Eplain
> for the upcoming issue of TUGboat.  We thought it would be
> great if you could take a look at it before it goes to
> print, so I put the draft for public download under
>   http://tug.org/eplain/misc/tb84katsi.pdf.zip
> or
>   http://tug.org/eplain/misc/tb84katsi.pdf.gz

Great to see this (and to learn new stuff about Eplain from it).

> We would appreciate any comments -- typos, omissions,
> unclear sentences, anything.

I have suggestions for change in two places:

  1. The paragraph at the top of the second column on the first
     page is hard to read.  My proposal involves recasting the
     second sentence; and, in the final sentence, changing
     "oftentimes" to "often" and adding "the" in "of LaTeX ...".
     Starting with the second sentence, here it is:

        LaTeX hides many details by providing users with
        "generic" capabilities, making it easier to write
        documents with predefined styles and harder to produce
        bad typesetting.  A vast number of additional packages
        has been developed to allow users to customize LaTeX,
        but often desired changes are very hard to accomplish
        within the constraints of the LaTeX implementation.

  2. In the Summary paragraph on the final page, the word TeX
     appears three times in four lines.  I think it would read
     better if the words "over TeX" were simply deleted from the
     end of the first sentence.

> (There are still several
> problems -- the page breaks are not perfect, and the example
> of Eplain source file is set in tiny type as a temporary
> measure to fit it in a column, but we're still working on
> it.)

The example will need to sacrifice some of the vertical white
space if it's to be set in a larger font, but several of the
blank lines are expendable (even if they would be nice to
keep).  I would think the example would still be quite readable
if lines 2, 8, 12, 15, 21 and 31 were deleted.  And I'd certainly
consider moving the closing brace on line 23 back to the end of
the previous line.  This would allow splitting the longer lines
and use of a larger font.

I've been using Eplain for about 13 years as the basis of my own
TeX macro package and I'm delighted to see that it's still in
good hands and gaining new capabilities.  Now that I've seen the
stuff with hyperlinks, I think I'm ready to add that to my own
package now that it has become realistic to switch from TeX to


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