[texhax] Isthis a bug in LaTex?

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Sep 19 00:41:43 CEST 2003

petr sojka writes:

> try to uncomment the line with \adjdemerits in plain tex file below,
> and read TeXbook exercise 14.11:
> \hsize 360pt
> %\adjdemerits=5083 %plain sets 10000 
> \font\f = cmr10 scaled 1095 \f
> \rightskip 0pt plus 1fil
> \noindent\tracingparagraphs=1
> I claim that a graph G can not have a poor subgraph with only one
> or two vertices but it can have a poor subgraph
> with only three vertices. If G is a graph with exactly
> three vertices and it has a poor subgraph then I claim G is
> complete.
> \penalty-10000\penalty-10000
> \par\vfill\par\penalty-20000\end
> So clearly it is a tex [line breaking algortihm's] feature, not a bug, 
> and has nothing to do with latex. 

i would claim that's a moot point.  the fact that latex sets these
silly parameters to define \raggedright makes it a latex problem, i
reckon.  what you've done is ignore plain's rather less ridiculous
\raggedright command and plug in the latex one instead.

sure, it's bad that tex's line-breaking algorithm behaves in this odd
way when provoked with this stupid value for \rightskip, but the
solution is not, surely, to rail at tex but rather to modify latex.

which is why we have the ragged2e package, and why knowledgeable
people use it if they have any but the most trivial requirements for
ragged text.

and it's issues like these that make writing the faq so much a
full-free-time occupation ;-)


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