I have question about LaTeX structure and how LaTeX works? Is it just a set of macros for TeX? What happens, when I call latex somefile.tex? Does latex just includes somefile into a file, which contain basic LaTeX macros and calls tex?

I've looked at latex.ltx. There are some commands, which are neither defined nor basic TeX commands. Does LaTeX introduce new fundamental commands, which TeX haven't?


latex is (in essence) a collection of macros.

a file containing these macros is read by tex (in initialisation mode -- flag "--ini" on tex-live versions of tex).

at the end of reading the file, tex encounters a \dump command, and writes a "format" file latex.fmt

the latex command is defined to "run tex and load latex.fmt". simple...

latex's collection of macros covers most of what plain tex (knuth's format) does, but adds a bunch of extensions that allow the user to impose some regular structure on a document.

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