Chemical structures with plain TeX

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at
Sat Jul 6 05:03:31 CEST 2019

On 2019-07-05 at 11:38:45 -0700, Shreevatsa R wrote:

 > For instance, "wget -O -" could be written as "wget
 > --output-document=-" or even "wget --output-document=/dev/stdin".
 > Similarly, "tidy -n -i" could be written as "tidy -numeric
 > -indent".  And "grep -v" as "grep --invert-match".  I think very
 > few people prefer to write the longer versions though.

I prefer short option names on the command line but the longer
versions in scripts.  I suppose that this was the basic idea of

Peter just said what he typed on the command line.  One cannot expect
that he uses long versions only to discharge people from reading the
manuals.  I think that everybody should be grateful for Peter's
response and shouldn't complain because the solution looks
incomprehensible at a first glance.

 > Given that wget, tidy, lxprintf etc are all separate programs
 > written by unrelated programmers with their own conventions for
 > specifying options, I think one is not expected to know what a
 > specific option to a specific command/program means by simply
 > reading it; it must be looked up in the corresponding program's
 > manual.

I have to read the manuals anyway because I never used "tidy" and
"lxprintf" before.  Hence long option names are not helpful at all
until I know what these programs are actually supposed to do.  And if
I have to consult the manuals it doesn't make any difference whether
short or long option names are used.

Presumably Phil is pissed off because Peter's solution requires Unix,
the system he hates so much.  This is not a good precondition for a
fruitful discussion.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at

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