The Name of the Game

The name quex obviously has a lexo-graphical relation to lex and flex–the most well known tools for generating lexical analysers at the time of this writing. The ‘Qu’ at the beginning of the word stands for ‘quick’, so hopefully the new features of quex and the ability to create directly coded engines will generate much faster lexical analysers. Also, the process of programming shall be much quicker by means of the handy shortcuts and elegant solutions that quex provides.

The last letter ‘χ’ is a the greek lowercase letter ‘chi’. It is intended to remind the author of this text that he actually wanted to create a better TeX [1] system with optimized source code appearance. When he realized that traditional lexical analysers did not provide the functionality to express solutions easily he started working on quex–and dove much deeper into the subject than he ever thought he would.

A question closely related to the name might be what the logo actually stands for. It is a calligraphic essay of the author of quex. Based on the arabic spelling of quex (kaf, wau, and kha) the logo consist of a representation in the squared kufi style. It is the algorithmic nature of this style that made it possible for a modestly talented artist like me to produce something beautiful. Indeed there is something fascination about arabic calligraphy due to the fact that it combines art and algorithm to produce something esthetically appealing.

Footnotes

[1]As Donald Knuth explains itcite{}, the last letter in TeX is an uppercase ‘chi’ so the name is to be pronounced like the German word ‘ach’ (it’s actually more a sound Germans utter, rather than a word with a dedicated meaning). Analogously, the χ at the end of quex should be pronounced like that and not like the ‘x’ of the German word ‘nix’.