[tex-eplain] Does xeplain.tex still exist?

Jim Diamond Jim.Diamond at acadiau.ca
Tue Jun 16 12:53:56 CEST 2009

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 08:01 (+0300), Oleg Katsitadze wrote:

> Hi Jim,

> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 11:59:03AM -0300, Jim Diamond wrote:
>> It tells me to see xeplain.tex.  I don't see this file in texlive 2008,
>> nor does a file search by name on CTAN find me anything.

> xeplain.tex is a source file which is stripped of comments and
> combined with a few other files to produce eplain.tex.  CTAN doesn't
> find xeplain.tex because it is stored together with other source files
> in a zip archive:

> http://ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/eplain/source/eplain/

>> Nor is xeplain.tex part of the download at http://tug.org/eplain/

> It's inside this tarball:

> http://tug.org/eplain/eplain-3.2.tar.gz

>> Q: is xeplain.tex just well-hidden, or is it gone forever (and thus
>> that comment is outdated)?

> I agree it's a little obscure.  I'll try to clarify this a bit.

> Best,


I hate to be contrary when you have given me such a polite, prompt
response.  However, I had already taken a look inside
eplain-3.2.tar.gz, and there is no xeplain.tex in there either.

However, I have now found it is inside the .zip file, as you claim.
Thanks very much for the information.


P.S. I often wonder whether in this day and age it is worthwhile
having two versions of a file, one with comments and one without.
While Knuth did a lot of bit-pushing type optimizations to reflect the
computing power of 1980, I think that in 2009 there is likely more
(human) time spent maintaining two versions of files then will be lost
by having TeX occasionally read and discard the comments in a complete
source file.  Especially in the case of a file like eplain.tex, where
(I suspect) most eplain users will use an eplain format file, rather
than \input'ing eplain every time.

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