[texhax] large forward slash

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Tue Feb 10 06:12:13 CET 2009

Reinhard Kotucha wrote:

>On 9 February 2009 Karl Berry wrote:
> > What confused me was that \middle does not appear in LaTeX, nor in
> > plain TeX, nor in the TeXbook, nor in tex.web, nor in etex.src.  I
> > finally realized it is a new e-TeX primitive.  Cool.
>Hi Karl,
>\middle is not new.  It exists in e-TeX as far as I can remember.  The
>file "etex_man.pdf" I mentioned in a previous thread is from March 1998.
>The reason that \middle is not mentioned in any manual except the
>e-TeX manual itself is that most people are not aware that all engines
>are using e-TeX now.  As far as I remember, it was David Kastrup who
>asked for integrating e-TeX into LaTeX.  He had been interested in the
>advanced debugging functions provided by e-TeX in the first place.
>Everything happened in the background, hence it's no wonder that most
>people are not aware of the "new" features.
Is it really true that \middle is unknown to plain TeX.  I find that 
hard to believe,
because I know that I have used it to create some non-mathematical displays.
I also know that I did not use e-TeX, (not because I have any hostility to
it---far from it---but simply because I didn't have to, and I tend to 
find plain
TeX solutions whenever I can). 

I do not have the time to dig around for the source of my awareness of
\middle,  but I am pretty sure that a serious user of plain TeX would
be able to discover it.

Pierre MacKay

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