# [NTG-pdftex] a dream about options

Pawel Jackowski jackos1 at poczta.onet.pl
Sun Nov 13 20:52:16 CET 2005

```Hello,

I suppose the issue was discussed before but couldn't find that is archives.

Making high level macros in (pure) TeX encounters problem of
optionality; the number of macro `properties' (agruments) is limited and
making parameters *optional* needs some trickery. And yes, syntax like

\macro[...,...,...]{...}

is quite robust ConTeXt or LaTeX but is also time, space and resource
consuming. Must be, since there is no robust way to build macros with
parameters organized similar to <rulespec>,

\macro key1 val1 key2=val2 key3{val3} ...

at least not with optional key-val pairs.

In pure TeX, such optional parameter text is rather exceptional, but in
pdfTeX it becomes quite common. Would it be possible to implement some
extension to definition building mechanism that allows to create macros
with rulespec-like shape? I admit for the moment I can't even imagine a
consistent syntax for such a feature. Macro parameters rules are
Knuthish enough :)

Regards,
--
Pawe/l Jackowski
P.Jackowski at gust.org.pl
```