Fwd: [XeTeX] documentation on programming language (in macros)?

Maurice Bauhahn bauhahnm at mac.com
Sat Feb 26 08:56:40 CET 2005

Hello Roger,

I'm probably further from understanding all this than yourself (I'm NOT 
a mathematician), but I'm finding the books by Stephan von Bechtolsheim 
on TeX most understandable. Furthermore, there is not excessive 
'pollution' from LaTeX as found in many other texts. Stephan's books 
are available from Amazon.com _used_ at reasonable prices. Hence it is 
cheaper to buy these from the U.S. and get them airmailed to the U.K., 
then to buy them new here in the U.K. with free shipping. Unfortunately 
there are quite a number of typos in the books...Springer-Verlag should 
have provided better editing.



Begin forwarded message:

> From: Roger Hart <rhart at mail.utexas.edu>
> Date: 26 February 2005 05:31:37 GMT
> To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X <xetex at tug.org>, TeX on Mac OS X 
> Mailing List <MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>
> Cc: Subject: [XeTeX] documentation on programming language (in macros)?
> Reply-To: Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X <xetex at tug.org>
> On Feb 25, 2005, at 2:06 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> Le 25 févr. 05, à 08:15, Roger Hart a écrit :
>>> So I was wondering if it would be difficult to get ps4pdf to work 
>>> under xelatex? I've become very dependent on ps4pdf.  I did look at 
>>> the file, but I'm afraid I'm not expert enough to really understand 
>>> what it is doing, or how to alter it to produce the same result with 
>>> xelatex. I would be indeed very grateful for any suggestions.
>> I've looked at this and managed to get ps4pdf.sty bypass its 
>> hardwired \RequirePackage[pdftex]{graphicx},
> [....]
>> I won't be able to spend more time on this, but in any case that 
>> doesn't look good.
> I certainly very much appreciate all the extremely generous and expert 
> help that I've received with my many very ignorant and simple novice 
> questions about latex etc.  So please let me apologize for asking one 
> more, and I do hope I may forgiven for stating this, since I really 
> don't know anything about programming in TeX and LaTeX at this point, 
> but it seems to me that making ps4pdf work with xelatex should be 
> pretty trivial exercise:
> 1)  add a section of code that tests to see if the environment is 
> xelatex, and if it is, use \XeTeXpdffile, instead of the corresponding 
> pdflatex command, to insert the contents of myfilename-pics, one page 
> at a time;
> 2) if the environment is not xelatex, then process according to 
> ps4pdf, either creating a -pics file under latex + dvips +ps2pdf, and 
> even allowing the usual processing under pdflatex.
> That is, something like,
> case of xelatex {
> %set definitions
>      \newcounter{pdfpage}
>      \setcounter{pdfpage}{1}
> %redefine ps4pdf for xelatex
> \renewcommand{ps4pdf}{
>      \XeTeXpdffile "scratch-xy-pics.pdf" page pdfpage
>      \stepcounter{pdfpage}
>      }
> }
> case of latex + dvips +ps2pdf {
>      process what is already in ps4pdf
> }
> case of pdftex{
>      process what is already in ps4pdf
> }
> Or even,
> if xelatex {
> insert pages as above
> }
> else
> \usepackage{ps4pdf}
> endif
> Obviously, as you can see from the above, I know nothing about the 
> syntax or commands of macros.  But I'm growing frustrated enough with 
> macros and other things that don't work with CJK that it seems about 
> time I learn.  So my question is, where is all of this language 
> documented? I tried imitating some .sty files just to find a test for 
> xetex, but I was unable to get any of the conditional loops to do what 
> I want. I have all of the LaTeX books, and none of them document 
> commands like \if ... \fi, \group ... \endgroup, etc. that are used in 
> macro commands.I didn't see any documentation on the web.
> Is this TeX, documented in Knuth's TeXbook? If so, I'll purchase it 
> right away. It seems like I would learn a lot by completing this 
> exercise, even if it is indeed as trivial as I assume.
> Please let me know what the best and most comprehensive source is so I 
> can begin to write code when necessary.
> Many thanks,
> Roger
> ********************************
> Roger Hart
> Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Asian Studies
> University of Texas at Austin
> office: Room 405, Garrison Hall
> office phone: 512-475-7258
> department fax: 512-475-7222
> email: rhart at mail.utexas.edu
> http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rhart
> *********************************
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