[tex-k] Bug report for The TeXbook

Paul Vojta vojta at math.berkeley.edu
Tue Jan 26 03:20:37 CET 2016

On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 02:11:07AM +0100, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> On 2016-01-25 at 15:57:40 -0800, Paul Vojta wrote:
>  > One could argue that it's mentioned in the sentence, "There's a
>  > special counter called \allocationnumber that will be equal to the
>  > most recently allocated number, after every \newcount, \newdimen,
>  > ..., \newinsert operation; macro packages are supposed to refer to
>  > \allocationnumber if they want to find out what number was
>  > allocated."  (It's hidden in the "...".  It's documenting that
>  > \newhelp sets \allocationnumber.)
> Dear Paul,
> as far as I understand, you want to tell us that Knuth is infallible.
> But if an index entry points to the Nirwana, it's definitely a bug,
> regardless how "..." can be interpreted.

No, I am not trying to tell you that Knuth is infallible.  There have been
typos in the TeXbook before, and I'm sure that there are more to be

However, this instance is not one of them.

The paragraph begins, "Here now are the macros that provide allocation for
quantities of more permanent value."  This is a reference to the code listing
on pages 346--347.  The sentence I quoted in my email documents (part of)
the behavior of \newcount, \newdimen, \newskip, \newmuskip, \newbox,
\newhelp, \newtoks, \newread, \newwrite, and \newinsert.  These are the
non-internal macros defined between the line beginning \outer\def\newcount
and the line beginning \outer\def\newinsert.  And, the index entries for
all of these macros mention page 346.

Paul Vojta

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