[texhax] learning tex vs latex

Susan Dittmar Susan.Dittmar at gmx.de
Wed Oct 28 17:26:24 CET 2009

Quoting hh (hh-brasil at bol.com.br):
> It is my (strictly personal) impression, that the general use of 
> LaTeX  also includes the loss of knowledge how things are done in 
> plain TeX.

True. But I do not know much of my car and drive it nonetheless. I would
not be able to build an oven or a washing machine, and use them still.
OK, once they fail, I need help. But they help me greatly even without me
knowing each of their parts by heart.

I am a long time user of LaTeX and use it intensely for a lot of quite
different things. And the approach of "try with LaTeX, but keep an open eye
for plain TeX solutions" works quite well for me. I do not see much sense
in re-inventing the wheel.

Mind, I am glad there are people who understand those things in detail.
The machines, and LaTeX, would not exist without such people. I am grateful
for all their expertise. I just think that you do not *need* to understand
all the details if you just need to use the machine. And the machine called
LaTeX still offers a lot of flexibility, so I think most users never really
collide with LaTeX's restrictions.

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