[texhax] \long\def\foo{fool}

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Wed May 10 01:43:08 CEST 2006

Not urgent, a somewhat philosophical question from a
non-computer-scientist to those who are able to read
the TeX source code:

\long\def\foo{fool} somewhat results from LaTeX's
\newcommand{\foo}{fool} or \renewcommand{\foo}{fool}.
When I explain customizations of my packages,
I always wonder whether I should recommend
\renewcommand or \renewcommand* ...

Of course, \long and the star form matters for users
only if the macro has parameters (it seems -- as I
guess from acquaintance with a professional programmer,
TeX macro writers are the last species of programmers
considering efficiency -- even if they have no idea how
many nanoseconds or bits they are fighting for).

Now, does consume \long\def\foo{fool} any more memory
(when it has been processed) than \def\foo{fool}?

I guess that each macro carries a \long and an \outer
bit with it anyway, but I'd like to be sure.

Happy efficiencizing,

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