Archive


Category: architecture

  • Revised definition of commands/environments

    From the readme for finl_parse, some thoughts on how commands and environments are defined. Input text Input text is assumed to be in NFD normalized format. Commands You indicate a command with \ followed by either a named command or a command symbol. Named commands consist of one or more letters. Letters are defined to include […]

  • At long last code

    The first piece of code (something relatively trivial) for finl is now on crates.io: finl-charsub is the character substitution module for finl. It may have use outside of finl when fixed character sequence replacements are needed in a text stream. Future enhancements: I’m pretty sure that there’s room to optimize the hash map implementation that’s currently […]

  • Building a trie in Rust—optimizations

    A trie is a variation on a tree whose purpose is to show the result of a sequence of values, something that I’ll be using a lot in finl. For example, TeX has a number of input conventions implemented via ligatures (plus an active character) that I’ll be making optionally available through a character substitution […]

  • A current status on finl

    This site got submitted to Hacker News (a lot sooner than I would have chosen), so a few notes on where things are and where they’re going. I’m definitely writing in Rust. Much like I expect finl to remove pain points around LaTeX, Rust removes a lot of pain points around code that I would […]

  • Looking at rust is already beneficial

    In addition to programming, I’m also a minor writer of fiction. One thing that I often do while working on a novel is write a short story to develop some aspect of craft. For example, part of the motivation for writing my story, Saint Jude’s Medallion was to work out how to tell a story through […]

  • Choosing a programming language revisited

    A comment from someone on Hacker News who happened to stumble across this site, inspired me to give another look at rust as a programming language. Having spent a few months digging into C++, my initial thoughts are that as pros: ICU for Unicode support harfbuzz for text rendering within the limits of compiler support […]

  • Character substitutions in text

    TeX handles some character sequence substitutions by (ab)using the ligature mechanism, e.g., “→“. This works reasonably well for Computer Modern which defines these in its ligature table, but falls apart once we start trying to use non-TeX fonts. Furthermore, there’s the added complication that most fonts put the characters ‘ and ` in character positions […]

  • Mistakes of LaTeX: the tabular environment

    One constant annoyance that I’ve encountered when people learn LaTeX is the default behavior of the tabular environment. Rather than presenting itself as a separate paragraph block, it is instead automatically in TeX’s horizontal mode. This means that if, for example, a user writes: some text\begin{tabular}{…}…\end{tabular}more text the tabular will be presented left-ish aligned (actually, […]

  • Defining a document markup language for finl

    The markup language for finl will be based on LaTeX, but many of the pain points of LaTeX come from the macro-expansion approach that Knuth’s TeX takes towards parsing the document. I can remember being a teenager reading The TeXbook and puzzling over the whole mouth-gullet-stomach description and finding that challenging to follow.  LaTeX attempts to […]

  • Choosing a programming language

    There are five platforms in common usage in 2020. On traditional computing platforms, we see Windows, Linux and MacOS. For mobile we have Android and iOS. Other platforms exist, but they have negligible usage (e.g., various BSD variants and quixotic efforts at creating a third OS for mobile). Of these, iOS is the most restricted […]