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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
"Michael J. Downes" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Jul 1998 17:57:56 -0400
Resent-From: [log in to unmask] Originally-From: Michael John Downes <[log in to unmask]>
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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l3basics.dtx mentions \c_space_chartok, evidently the equivalent of
\@sptoken, but it's not defined anywhere. In fact there is a group of
similar "character-token primitives".  For experimentation purposes I
would suggest giving them new LaTeX3 names in l3basics. Some, if not
all of these, as I recall, are dealt with off somewhere in another
package, but it did not get included in the expl3 release.

(catcode 1) \bgroup -> \group_begin_lbrace:  (?)
(catcode 2) \egroup -> \group_end_rbrace:  (?)
(catcode 3) $       -> \math_start: (and also \math_end:)
\gdef:Npn \math_start_display: {\math_start:\math_start:}
\gdef:Npn \math_end_display: {\math_end:\math_end:}
(catcode 4) &       -> \align_end_cell:
(catcode 6) #       -> \param_marker:
(catcode 7) ^       -> \math_superscript:w
(catcode 8) _       -> \math_subscript:w
(catcode 10) space  -> \c_space_chartok

Some interesting tricks can be done when a control sequence
\param_marker: instead of a character # is embedded in macro
definitions. The behavior of the macro is affected at run-time by the
current local definition of the control sequence. (LaTeX already uses
this in constructing preambles for array and tabular, but I played
around with the idea a little more, some time ago.)

If you wanted to handle the above single-character functions in
l3names.dtx in full generality, one could argue that you need 256
names for each catcode. But I guess 1 or 2 will be enough :-)

The following which are used by TeX when scanning numbers and dimens
probably are also useful to have (must be assigned with def, not let).

(catcode 12) '      -> \num_octal
(catcode 12) "      -> \num_hex
(catcode 12) -      -> \num_minus
(catcode 12) .      -> \num_decimal
(catcode 12) =      -> \num_equal
(catcode 12) `      -> \num_alph "alphabetic constant"

Michael Downes