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On , he wrote a memo to himself describing the basic features of Te X.
He planned to finish it on his sabbatical in 1978, but as it happened the language was not "frozen" (ready to use) until 1989, more than ten years later.
Te X is popular in academia, especially in mathematics, computer science, economics, engineering, physics, statistics, and quantitative psychology.
It has largely displaced Unix troff, the other favored formatting system, in many Unix installations, which use both for different purposes.
Guy Steele happened to be at Stanford during the summer of 1978, when Knuth was developing his first version of Te X.
In the next stage, expandable control sequences (such as conditionals or defined macros) are replaced by their replacement text.
Te X is a macro- and token-based language: many commands, including most user-defined ones, are expanded on the fly until only unexpandable tokens remain, which are then executed.
Expansion itself is practically free from side effects.
it UNITECUNITECUNITECUNITEC----D ID ID ID ITALYTALYTALYTALY Via Carlo Alberto, 17 I-04016 – Sabaudia (LT) Italy Tel: 39 0773 512022 Fax: 39 0773 512737 e-mail: [email protected]
Together with the Metafont language for font description and the Computer Modern family of typefaces, Te X was designed with two main goals in mind: to allow anybody to produce high-quality books using minimal effort, and to provide a system that would give exactly the same results on all computers, at any point in time.