[texhax] (no subject)

Pierre MacKay mackay at cs.washington.edu
Mon Jun 9 16:41:22 CEST 2003

Don was explicitly concerned to avoid feature creep.  TeX is a typesetting
language, not a generalized graphjics language.  TeXdraw, and other similar
packages allow several sorts of (pseudo-)floating point operations to
be specified in TeX macros, but since TeX, through dvips, makes PostScript
available, the usual practice is to do one's graphics in some sort of
PostScript tool and then import them into TeX.  Have you ever tried
drawing a circle with lead type?

That is not a frivolous question.  One of the things that distinguishes
TeX is that it preserves some of the refinements that gave lead type
its quality.  These may be incompatible with generalized graphics
capabilities.  Don was certainly firmly against overloading TeX with
graphics features that lie outside the craft of typesetting as such.

Incidentally, does anyone remember the tour-de-force of writing a
Basic interpreter entirely in TeX Macros?  Not particularly useful,
perhaps, but impressive just the same.


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