[tex-k] Bug (typo) in Metafont program, Section 90, Procedure "confusion"

Jonathan Kew jfkthame at gmail.com
Mon Jun 12 10:50:56 CEST 2023

Hi Gregor,

I don't think this is a bug or typo; I've always understood it to be a 
little joke. The message indicates an internal error in the program, and 
is hinting at the idea of being stuck endlessly repeating its last words 
of output...


On 12/06/2023 01:00, Gregor Purdy wrote:
> Greetings,
> On page 36 of METAFONT: The Program, in Section 90 which defines 
> procedure `confusion` which calls `help1` with an argument ending in the 
> duplication "...who can fix can fix". This should be just “...who can 
> fix” (or something similar).
> I just checked a copy of mf.web I obtained recently from 
> https://www.tug.org/svn/texlive/trunk/Build/source/texk/web2c/mf.web?revision=57915 <https://www.tug.org/svn/texlive/trunk/Build/source/texk/web2c/mf.web?revision=57915>, and it still has this error in it.
> I also just checked the known errata last updated 2021-02-05 at 
> http://mirrors.ctan.org/systems/knuth/dist/errata/mf84.bug 
> <http://mirrors.ctan.org/systems/knuth/dist/errata/mf84.bug> and did not 
> see a reference to it being previously reported.
> Per the instructions at 
> https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/abcde.html 
> <https://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/abcde.html> I am sending 
> this error report to tex-k at tug.org <mailto:tex-k at tug.org> for vetting.
> Best,
> — Gregor Neal Purdy
> gregor at abcelo.com <mailto:gregor at abcelo.com>

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