TeX - ! Extra alignment tab has been changed to \cr

Carlos linguafalsa at gmail.com
Sun Jul 7 18:33:03 CEST 2019

Philip and David, and list in general. The message 'Extra alignment tab has
been changed to \cr' is as misleading as the code from tabular environment,
because it does absolutely nothing but implying that a \cr has been applied
and hence, a newline follows thereof. So yes, is as faulty as the code from
the macros of TeX which became LaTeX.

if as the TeXbook says, TeX looks only for \cr commands, from which I infer
is thus expanded, and '&', '#' and so forth and the glue in '\tabskip'
which is scanned  as usual - note the macro expansion of \cr, then it
follows that TeX under your tabular environment must have missed the macro
expansion of \cr. One thing is a misplaced alignment tab character '&' and
and another entirely different is extra alignment tab has been changed to
'\cr.' Two different things and by  now you ougth already know.

If you were to say and this is from the TeXbook

\settabs 2 \columns
\+ this material is flushed right & \cr
this material is set centered & \cr

You'd have the expected 'misplaced alignment tab character '&'

So let's boil it down to

\settabs 2 \columns
\+ this material is set flush right \cr
this material is set centered \cr

Then as expected,  you'd have 'misplaced \cr'.

But lo and behold if you were to have the same under your environment. Your
implementation. Silly environment as it is.

look closely for posterity

\hbox to 2cm {una} & prueba && \cr
para ver &&&& \cr} & & & &      % look at the closing brace and hence the
missing \cr.

And as expected it would spit out the 'misplaced alignment tab character
&', because the template is unable to scan for the expansion of \cr
accordingly, as determined under your environment. The '}' of your tabular
environment options is treated as the end of the argument of the
environment itself.

On Sun, Jul 7, 2019 at 5:32 AM Taylor, P <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk> wrote:

> Carlos wrote:
> My issue  [...] is the simple misleading message of
>  Extra alignment tab has been changed to \cr
> When you ask an Anglophone speaking individual what from the above he/she
> can understand from it,, that individual might reply - and rightly so -
> that what the message conveys is that the \cr was applied to the newline,
> Hence that extra alignment (unspecified or not) has been changed. So this
> conversation would be nullified to start with.
> I am "an Anglophone [speaking] individual".  When I read the diagnostic, I
> see no mention of a newline at all; why, therefore, should I interpret it
> as conveying "that the \cr was applied to the newline" ?  It says nothing
> even vaguely similar to that.
> If on the other hand, I were to translate the above to Spanish, and ask a
> Spanish speaking individual what that message seems to convey to him/her,
> that very same individual  almost surely will agree with the Anglophone
> counterpart.
> If you were to translate "Extra alignment tab has been changed into \cr"
> into Spanish, and publish your translation on this list, we could then ask
> other native Spanish speakers (Hispanophones) whether (a) they agree that
> your translation is accurate, and (b) how they would render your
> translation in good idiomatic English.  For those that are also TeXophones,
> we could also ask what they interpret it as meaning.
> Philip Taylor
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