[tex-k] Bug in TeX (or LaTeX)

Sam Lauber sam124 at operamail.com
Sun Feb 20 07:26:29 CET 2005

>> I am using LaTeX.  When I type `latex', it displays the normal 
>> `This is TeX' banner.  If I type \end at the prompt, it just 
>> displays `LaTeX2e <1998/06/01>'.  If I type \end agian, it exits, 
>> but in a rude way:
>> (latex)
>> This is TeX, version 3.14159 (Web2C 7.5.3) **\end
> [first \end command]
>> LaTeX2e <1998/06/01>
>> *\end
> [second \end command]
>> ! TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [parameter stack size=600].
>> \end#1->
>>         \csname end#1\endcsname \@checkend #1\expandafter \endgroup \if at e...
>> <*> \end
> you've written the equivalent of \end{\end} which is plainly nonsense
> (in latex).
> now, if this particular insanity were common, it might be worth while
> latex actually detecting it and producing an error other than the
> baseline tex error.  tex has no exception mechanism, so any error
> detection has to happen in the main loop.  given the nature of the tex
> language such code is clunky and potentially slow.  you just don't
> want to clutter up such frequently-used code with such stuff.
>> It dosen't happen with plain TeX: 
>> (tex)
>> This is TeX, version 3.14159 (Web2C 7.5.3)
>> *\end
>> No pages of output.
>> Transcript written to texput.log.
> but \end in tex doesn't take an argument, and has a completely
> different meaning.
>> But strangely, with the LaTeX executable running plain, the same 
>> thing happens, but it displays the message more than once.
> i'm not sure i understand what you mean here.  latex "executables" are
> typically merely some virtex-equivalent which is programmed to run the
> format corresponding to the link's name.  plain (which is the source
> for a format) won't read into an executable that's already got a
> format loaded.
As explained in the Web2C manual, the format loaded is the 
name of the executable.  Under most setups, latex is a 
symlink to tex.  It _does_ have an effect.  After all, 
there _is_ a file called `tex.fmt'.  See Web2C manual et 
alia.  The `\input plain' part just might be a peculiarity 
of the fact that I'm on DJGPP and the way symlinks are 
implemented for executables.  I'll attach my texput.log.  

Samuel Lauber

"In a roll of latex, there is a bit of plastic inside.  
In a roll of latex, there is a bit of TeX inside."

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