Why does LaTeX clear \@title during \maketitle?

Ever wonder why LaTeX doesn't provide a way for printing the title and author once \maketitle has been issued? I did. So I asked a question on the TeX StackExchange and received an interesting answer. Turns out it's an artifact of the times when memory was in extremely short supply.

The main reason was "main-memory" back in those days. LaTeX was effectively eating up half of the available space just through macro definitions. So with complicated pages or with some picture environments etc you could hit the limit. So freeing up any bit was essential and you still see traces of this in the code.

Frank Mittelbach [1]

Dark times!

  1. Answer to “Why are @title, @author, and @date cleared during \maketitle?”. TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange. Frank Mittelbach (2012-08-21). ↩︎