Simon Pepping wrote:

> Note that The TeXbook is TeX's user guide. Yes, Knuth's users 
> are quite advanced. It was my first book in the direction of 
> computers, and one of the most inspirational I have read.
> The TeX program is described in 'TeX The Program'. That text 

Oops. You're right. That is volume 2 from the same "Computers and
Typesetting" series.

> set up all the tools. It is up to yourself to decide whether 
> knowing TeX's implementation is useful. It is a best-fit 
> algorithm. There is no look-ahead. For example, TeX is not 
> able to balance two facing pages (or two columns on a page, 
> which for TeX is the same). I guess that a dissertation like 
> that cited above contains much more information than 
> implemented in TeX.

I'm not sure. The general TeX page-breaking algorithm is discussed in the
paragraphs before Appendix A of Chapter 3 of "Digital Typography". The
general box/glue/penalty model is used, but only the current page is
considered. So I think the difference between best-fit and total-fit (as
described here anyway) is the amount of look-ahead itself, not so much the
algorithm. This is why I thought Finn's (IIRC) idea of a variable look-ahead
makes sense. A look-ahead of zero pages is a best-fit, a look-ahead of all
pages is a total-fit. But the algorithm is the same.

Anyway, I agree that the paper is probably the best source, but wanted to
give Jeremias some options.

Victor Mote

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