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Re: Bug#183860: RMS's comment on this bug is mostly irrelevant. :-/

On Thu, Dec 25, 2003 at 11:48:39AM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> However, that's not the case.  A texinfo document is *not* TeX; it's a
> completely different language that bears little resemblence to TeX.  There
> is essentially only one TeX command in the entire document, the initial
> \input command, and the texinfo documentation tells you to treat that like
> a magic string like #!/bin/sh rather than a part of the language.  The
> *intention* is completely different; a texinfo document is not written to
> use the texinfo macros as a library, but rather is written in a completely
> different language that's interpreted and transformed by texinfo.tex into
> TeX code.

	Hmm...  That's not _technically_ true.  Indeed, Texinfo in its
most primitive form is merely a TeX macro package, much like LaTeX.  The
fact that you use a program like texi2dvi to generate it is merely an
implementation detail.

	When doing custom font support for GNU Press, I was able to
write portable Texinfo files by including snippets of TeX code in the
"preamble" of the Texinfo document.  All one has to do is substitute @
for \ and it readily works.  Makeinfo itself was designed to ignore
everything until it hits a particular keyword (which I don't remember),
so this is very safe.

	So texinfo.tex really doesn't transform Texinfo into TeX at all,
i.e. it isn't a preprocessor like cpp.  It really is a macro package
that defines a bunch of macros that are the Texinfo language.  None of
the semantics really change, since if you poke hard enough, you'll
discover that it really is TeX under the surface.

	I hope that this clarifies this particular point in the


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