[Dev-luatex] Modifying the LuaTeX Engine - OT: Don Knuth

Jonathan Fine jfine at pytex.org
Mon Dec 29 18:54:31 CET 2008

Hans Hagen wrote:

> well, one way of reading davids remark is
> "there are folks out there who try to reason and talk on behalf of Don 
> Knuth without knowing his real opinions"

Yes.  That's why I quoted Don Knuth (and gave a reference, and did not 
mix in my own view).

In October this year David Kastrup posted to comp.text.tex
I mean, Knuth himself talks all the time about "TeX" and actually uses
pdfTeX most of the time.

I asked him how he knew that, and he did not reply.  This seems to me be 
be an example of the 'lazy (mis)-representation' of Don Knuth that your 
paraphrase of David criticizes.

David:  Please tell me (off list if you wish), how you know that Knuth 
uses pdfTeX most of the time.

> actually i've heard Don say (at an ntg QA session long ago) that he was 
> surprised that there were no more fundamental extensions like pdftex (at 
> that time upcoming); also, there is a difference between (say) 2^4 
> fundamental different tex variants and 2^32 confusingly slightly 
> unsimilar ones

Hans:  I'm looking at the transcripts (in Digital Typography) and I 
think you're referring to the CS TUG session (pages 617-8) and not the 
NTG session.

Hans:  Your comment has two parts, separated by an 'also'.  Just to 
clarify, the first part is your paraphrase of Don Knuth and the second 
part (so far as I can tell) comes just from you, and not at all from Don 

No need for anyone to reply to this (except David K, off-list if he wishes).


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