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Sender: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
From: David Carlisle <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 17:13:04 GMT
Reply-To: Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Parts/Attachments: text/plain (30 lines)
> But isn't \'e an abbreviation for \acute{e},

No on two levels, firstly \' doesn't expand to any (document usable)
command form, it is essentially, but more importantly the latex internal
form should be thought of as a symbolic name consisting of those
characters. \'e (actually the internal form isn't quite that because of
the annoying tabbing restrictions, but ignore that for now).

\'e is a three letter name for taht character, like e-acute or
U+E9 or &#xe9;

Sometimes latex passes it round as a string of three tokens, and
sometimes the \' is tokenised but again this is an implementation
detail. Conceptually it is just latex's cannonical name for an e acute.

> I see \'e and \uE9 as formally different things,

That isn't the latex way. If you use a latin 1 input encoding and enter
a  (which was an e acute if this mail path isn't 8bit safe)
then latex will convert that to \ internally before converting that
back to the same byte as it started with if typesetting in T1 encoding.

This in fact is similar to a unicode combining character if you do e'
where 'is teh combining acute it is (to a unicode/xml system)
supposed to be the same as if you'd entered the e acute character
(but don't try it in xmltex)