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1.4 TeX's flavors 

TeX has gotten its children already, like ManMac, LaTeX, and amsTeX/LaTeX, to name but a few. As usual for children they live their own lives. For TeX this means that they have the confusing side-effect of not being completely compatible. In spite of this incompatibility reality has it that authors and publishers make their choice - TeX-based, or LaTeX-oriented - and therefore the incompatibilities don't hinder most of us.


manmac.tex is a set of macros written and used by Knuth to format his magnum opus `The Art of Computer Programming,' his Computers and Typesetting series, and so on. This collection has been extended into BLUe's format system, which also accounts for developments since the design of ManMac, and comes with the user's guide `Publishing with TeX.'


LaTeX stresses the higher-level approach of descriptive markup and hides the formatting details as much as possible from an author. Because of the rigorous way this has been implemented, it is hard to customize the prefab styles.

Leslie Lamport's manual, LaTeX, A Document Preparation System, exhibits the functionalities

Important add-ons are the Bézier curve macros, Makeindex to prepare indexes, and BibTeX to manage bibliographic references.


amsTeX/LaTeX are the tools of the pace-setting American Mathematical Society. This publisher adopted and supported the TeX development from the beginning. (See below under TeX and its publishers.)


LamsTeX reimplemented in a flexible way the descriptive LaTeX approach, next to a general automatic numbering and symbolic referencing scheme, advanced table macros, and sophisticated commutative diagram macros. See my review of Spivak's œuvre for more details about the Joy of TeX and LamsTeX - The Synthesis. Another uniform approach to diagrams - spread, grid, and hierarchical - is provided by Gurari in his DrawTeX.

In summary 

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