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86

Leyla Akhmadeeva and I (Boris Veytsman) made several experiments trying to determine whether typesetting niceties influence reading speed and comprehension. Some of them are described here: Towards evidence-based typography: First results Do Serifs Help in Comprehension of Printed Text? An Experiment with Cyrillic Readers (supplementary materials, data) ...


85

(I don't have good-quality images, so as it stands this answer may be more misleading than helpful. Will need to replace with proper images.) The short answer is that you can find a (brief) comparison in Chapter 1 of the book Digital Typography. This chapter is a cleaned-up version of his Kyoto Prize Lecture. And to cut to the chase, here's something that ...


69

There have been two bug fixes, one in TeX and one in Metafont. If you look into the tarball, you find a subdirectory called errata. In it you find tex82.bug mf84.bug errorlog.tex In the last file there's a resumé of the changes, in the first two you can find the actual corrections.1 The bug fix in TeX is related to the control sequence with empty name. ...


68

As a bit of history: Don told me at one point that he did chose Wells Fargo Bank for this because they had such nice checks at the time (with a carriage drawn by four horses - see picture) and that he therefore hoped most people would put the checks on the wall rather than cashing them: These days I think they are no longer that beautiful, but I haven't ...


63

The TeX error log lists the people who have reported bugs that resulted in changes to TeX the program. I assume they all have cheques generic/knuth/errata/errorlog.pdf or just use the command texdoc errorlog in TeX Live at least.


51

My dark guesses, freely adapted from Sybill Trelawney's divination lessons: 2013 Since the latest changes (3.1415926) were put into the main TeX engines (TeX, pdfTeX, LuaTeX, XeTeX) I would expect the same for changes of this year, because these engines are more or less maintained. 2020 Changes are unlikely because of a very dark death. Maintenance of ...


47

“Design” is a loaded term. Knuth knowingly and intentionally copied the metal font Monotype Modern 8A, which was the font used to set the first edition of volumes 1-3 of The Art of Computer Programming. He described the procedure he started with in his lecture on receiving the Kyoto Prize — see especially page 6, near the top. (A google search for “knuth ...


38

Yes. For engines that are distributed as change files, this should more or less happen automatically when tex.web is updated (if there are any updates). For other engines this has to be done manually, usually by the indefatigable Peter Breitenlohner for TeXLive. But don't hope for much; the kind of fixes that Knuth is likely to accept are usually cosmetic ...


37

In the file ./errata/TeX82.bug, you will find what you want: 428. \endcsname\csname should be followed by space in print_cs, just as all other multiletter control sequences are (found by Oleg Bulatov, 14 Sep 2008) @x module 262 begin print_esc("csname"); print_esc("endcsname"); @y begin print_esc("csname"); print_esc("endcsname"); print_char(" "...


33

It is a joke. Knuth is known for his "professional humor", see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Knuth#Humor.


27

Knuth created a great little macro package; it should be in your local TeX installation as manmac.tex. He used it for the TeXbook. Reading it is very instructive. He does things like footnotes, inserts, and figures. There's a "proof mode" which changes the behavior of some things while you're proofing a manuscript. He has the proper macros for setting fonts ...


26

For instance, how did he do his drawings? I understand him to use MetaPost exclusively at this point.


24

How did he manage floats? Plain-tex format builds up on the primitive \insert with its \topinsert, \midinsert and \pageinsert macros.


23

For (a) use the backref package together with your bibliography setup (natbib, etc.) With hyperlinks: \usepackage[backref=page]{hyperref} \hypersetup{<your setup params>} or without hyperref \usepackage{nohyperref} \usepackage[pageref]{backref} \usepackage{url}% for url's in bib Then set the back references in a more readable format \renewcommand*...


23

Volume E of Knuth's Computer & Typesetting says (page 22): Computer Modern Funny Roman type carries the idea of parameter variation to a ridiculous extreme. The author concocted it primarily to test the robustness of his programs [means Metafont and Computer Modern scripts], but people have also used cmff10 to typeset party invitations. Its backward ...


21

As you mentioned: 'TeX' comes from Greek τέχνη and the capital τ (tau), ε (epsilon) and χ (chi) are identical to a Latin capitals T, E and X respectively). Artistically, writing the epsilon as a 'lowered' capital makes sense not only because the capitals are identical. It also shows (a tiny bit of) the capability of TeX: It shows that TeX can do proper ...


19

The manmac format used for processing the TeXbook defines ^ in a very special way. Under the standard setup, ^ alone is the marker for superscripts and also has a very peculiar behavior when followed by itself, see What is the role of an unescaped circumflex or hat character " ^ "? However, manmac.tex makes ^ into an active character and Knuth ...


18

Rather than the TeXbook, there are a number of legitimately available .pdfs which have similar content: TeX for the Impatient: ftp://tug.org/tex/impatient/book.pdf (I scanned in and provided the images for this --- hopefully someone will work out how to add them to the file) TeX by Topic: http://eijkhout.net/texbytopic/texbytopic.html Making TeX Work: http:/...


18

The example in the TeXbook has just arbitrary values; assuming units of points, it may can be emulated by the input \def\example{% \hbox to 5pt{\hrulefill}% \hskip 9pt plus 3pt minus 1pt \hbox to 6pt{\hrulefill}% \hskip 9pt plus 6pt minus 2pt \hbox to 3pt{\hrulefill}% \hskip 12pt plus 0pt minus 0pt \hbox to 8pt{\hrulefill}} If you say \hbox{\...


18

One obvious reason is that you are typesetting general text, so keywords such as "if" appearing in the text would need to be escaped. The operative word being "escape", for which the backslash is common.


17

at the bottom of don knuth's tex page there is a section "spiffy new printings". late in 2011, knuth updated the texbook sources to incorporate all corrections and suggestions, but only the hardcover has the updated text. even more problematic is the fact that it's identified as a printing, not an edition, so it is not possible to tell from most distributors ...


16

AFAIK no. The only authority here is the publisher; please ask this question there, although I have not found an easy way to address that question on their website... :-( Edit: I personally doubt that DEK is satisfied with the typography of ePubs (which is essentially XHTML & CSS) and would demand PDF - and since the publisher(s) would then probably ...


16

I received the following e-mail from Don today: Perhaps it is not too late to do some detective work about that early translation of The TeXbook into Italian, made by political prisoners, since only 25 years have elapsed. If you have contacts in Italy, they may be able to help; certainly it's a really interesting story, and it ought to become better known....


15

It's worth documenting that there is another, non-joke, iTeX. WebTeX was a restricted subset of LaTeX that was designed for rendering as webpages, offering a more sophisticated layout model than CSS. Paul Gartside took a subset of that focussed on rendering mathematics, called it iTeX, and wrote a converter to MathML, which he called itex2mml. Jacques ...


15

Typesetting-wise the book hasn't changed much since the second printing*. The fonts have remained the same; Concrete Roman for text and AMS Euler for math. Every printing after the first includes some improvements suggested by Hermann Zapf (the designer of AMS Euler). These include summation and product symbols to better match AMS Euler and lighter curly ...


15

The TeX bit comes from Don Knuth as he designed the original plain TeX macros, The TeXBook says On the other hand, it's important to notice another thing about TeX's name: The 'E' is out of kilter. This logo displaced 'E' is a reminder that TeX is about typesetting, and it distinguishes TeX from other system names. In fact, TEX (pronounced tecks) is ...


14

The TeXbook is only about TeX and Plain TeX, the program created by Knuth himself and its first format (also created by him). It says nothing, for example, about the LaTeX or ConTeXt formats, nor about more modern engines like pdfTeX, XeTeX, LuaTeX… (Nota Bene: To be allowed to exist, all those evolutions had to be named differently than TeX and/or Plain ...


14

Well if you literally want to replicate what Knuth did, you could use the same macros. The macros he used/uses for The Art of Computer Programming (TAOCP) are available as taocpmac.tex, and the relevant ones for the examples in the question are \quoteformat and \author. Download taocpmac.tex, comment out the \input figdir.local line at the top (or create a ...


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