: I am reading the TeXbook, and also slowly chewing the Metafont book. I am
: interesting in knowing how long should it take to read the TeXbook, and
: what is the best approach. I have heard that there are some videos by Knuth.
To finish the TeXbook is simple, as it is written in a quite
easily-understood way. But you might quite a longer time if you want to
fully understand the questions marked with 'ZZ' also. You don't have to
read it in sequence, except for the first few chapters. Actually this is
mentioned in the TeXbook also.
: If one hears a lecture, then the reading of a book by the same author becomes
: much more efficient. Do you know where to get the video?
Never heard of that. But I wonder if the videos will give you such detail
informations as you mentioned in your question.
: Even though I am not a computer scientist, I took a C class and had to
: write an Algebraic to RPN parser. I am fascinated by the parsing theory. I
: wonder if Anyone has read the book TeX the program, and tell me what one
: might expect to learn from it.
Ha! Sleep enough before you read it, especially if you don't want to read
it from the beginning! Well, if you really go thru the whole book, you can
understand every single details that TeX uses in her program, from how TeX
pack its data to how TeX calculate spacings, break pages... but not how to
: What is the structure of TeX? Is it just a parser, that expands macros,
: and substitutes how to import fonts etc? Actually dvips does that. Can
: someone explain the big picture, of how tex, metafont, dvips/xdvi work
:to give the final document. I am wanting to understand the exact specifications
Metafont is a font designed by Knuth that uses mathematical definitions to
make it capable of scaling to any specific size. (though not very pretty
to me) Before you can use TeX/LaTeX, source metafont files must be compiled
to generate gf/pk fonts (bitmaps) and tfm files (specify the dimensions of
fonts). TeX read tfm files to initialize its internal table for dimension
calculations and then write to .dvi files when it compiles the source
document. Xdvi reads the .dvi file and pk fonts to display the document in
XWindow. Dvips is another program that read .dvi file and convert it to
: of the .dvi and other file formats, via a simple, but fully worked example.
: Does Knuth's video talk about this? You may realize that what I am really
: asking is a small university type lecture on the fundamentals.
Is the video in distributed format? If yes, I'd like have a look also.
James Ching CSC 4/4
Department of Computer Science