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comment Does TeX/LaTeX give a headstart with other programming languages?
After three years...finally, the Great Answer badge for this ironic reponse. If only the author would accept it finally.
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comment Can one define an expandable command that removes control sequences from its argument?
@Yossi Actually, that's not so hard to fix. The relevant code is in SanitizeTokens, specifically, the \if statement. This only catches control sequences, because it compares to \relax. For active characters, you should put a second check in the \else branch, say, \ifnum\catcode#1=13 %. I haven't tested this, but I think you're capable of making it work if you want to.
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comment Can one define an expandable command that removes control sequences from its argument?
@yossi what do you mean by special characters? Also, this will likely not get fixed by me :-)
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comment Faster way of writing \mathbf
@egreg Good point. I was a bit of a hotshot when I wrote this answer.