Chemical structures with plain TeX

Taylor, P P.Taylor at
Fri Jul 5 12:46:15 CEST 2019

Paulo Ney de Souza wrote:
... and tagging along with Peter's command (to see what is going on) is not easy because "lxprintf" is a real mess:

  * it ides not come with any distribution
  * there are no packages for it at the repositories
  * it is not available at the standard open source repositories
  * there is no way to (easily) automate obtaining the package and installing it
  * the package (LTXML2) depends on itself for building it

Paulo Ney

As I wrote off-list to Peter :

Sometimes I just want to weep.  There can be no doubt, based even on just the evidence above, that the Unix operating system is a very powerful tool, and the simple fact that one can identify all packages that do not have the string "LaTeX" (presumably case-insensitive) in their CTAN path is a clear demonstration of that fact.  And yet the entire thing is gibberish.  It could be Mayan, for all I know.  I could stare at it for the rest of my life and still not have the slightest idea how it works.  Why oh why oh why does someone not come up with a command-line interpreter (or as I fear you would call it, "a shell") that uses English verbs as its commands and Enqlish nouns/adjective/adverbs/etc as its qualifiers ?  How on earth is anyone expected to know what "-i -o" implies, especially as what it implies is almost certainly a function of the command to which it is applied ?  And why can one not apply 2>/dev/null distributively, such that it applies to all commands in the sequence rather than having to be spelled out in full for each.

Algol-68 showed the world how programming languages should look, feel and behave; VAX/VMS did the same for operating systems.  But the world was too stupid to see their strengths, and abandoned them in favour of C and Unix.  As I wrote before, I weep.

Philip Taylor
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