Re: TeX syntax?

A Johnstone <>
9 Feb 2007 09:02:31 -0500

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From: A Johnstone <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 9 Feb 2007 09:02:31 -0500
Organization: Janet Usenet Reading Service.
References: 07-02-024
Keywords: macros
Posted-Date: 09 Feb 2007 09:02:31 EST

Russell Shaw <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've looked high and low without success. Where can i find
> something resembling the BNF of Knuth's TeX typesetting syntax?

Well, the stuff is in the TeXbook, but for most practical applications
that won't get you very far because TeX is a macro-processing
language, which has a tendency to blur (in practice although not in
theory) the syntax and the semantics of the language. Typical
user-visible features in plain or LaTeX involve many layers of macros.
When I try to parse LaTeX I usually just write a crude parser that
recognises LaTeX's special characters and gobbles up {} and []
delimited paramaters. The BNF is trivial.


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