[NTG-pdftex] a dream about options

Pawel Jackowski jackos1 at poczta.onet.pl
Mon Nov 14 09:51:22 CET 2005

Hi Hans!

thanks for response.

>> 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[...]

> in the previosu century taco made some extensiong dealing with key/val 
> parsing (and other kinds of parsing); at that time we did quite some 
> testing with speed issues, and the price to pay was higher that the 
> gain; keep in mind that in tex catcodes and expansion always kind of 
> interfere in such things; 

Indeed, to keep things consistent, parameter text should always be 
expanded before being swallowed by \macro... Anyway, pdfTeX handles that 
somehow, supporting both expansion and catcoding.

> ok, if you limit key/val parsing to 'strings' 
> only (i.e. no expansion, no catcode support) then it can be faster, but 
> at the same time it also becomes useless for everyday usage; as with 
> more tex things, because tex is rather optimized, hard coded 
> alternatives (extensions to the language) not always pay off; also 
> consider implementation issues like namespacing, scope of keys, etc

...and parameters handling rules in such an extention would probably be 
faaaar away from TeX. But if tries has been made in previous century, 
meybe it's high time to repeat tests? In the previous century features 
such as decompressing/recompressing PNG in runtime didn't pay off 
either. If you don't consider it doable, I will reopen the request in 
the next century. -)

All the best,
Pawe/l Jackowski
P.Jackowski at gust.org.pl

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