[tex-live] TL2004: Technical problems and testing

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Fri May 7 19:10:55 CEST 2004

Hi Olaf,

>Given the amount of feedback I've had, I've mainly gone on my sense of
>what would be useful, usable, and (I think) comprehensible.


>- Currently, the code distinguishes between writing to the terminal
>   and log on the one hand, and other writes (\write) on the other.

just curious: is \write16 the same as \message, or will \write16 act as any 
other write (which makes sense)

>- For writes to the terminal and log, isprint(3) function is used, and
>   this is locale-dependent.
>- For \write, the setup is as follows:
>   - By default, printable means printable ASCII, codes [32..127].
>     This is Knuth's original definition.
>   - Giving the -8bit option changes the default to make all characters
>     printable.
>   - In a TCX file you can specify a third value, to explicitly set
>     a character as printable or non-printable.  This is the way to
>     make characters non-printable if -8bit is used as well.
>   - The xord/xchr/xprn arrays are always saved in the format, for all
>     engines except those in the Omega family.  Thus, a TCX or -8bit
>     given in INI mode sets the defaults for that format.
>   - If a TCX is specified, it overrules whatever is in the format.
>   - If -8bit is specified, it overrules whatever is in the format.
>   - The \xchr, \xord, \xprn primitives are only available in encTeX.


>What I would like to do, is to use only three extensions: .fmt for
>formats, .base for bases, and .mem for mems.  If we expect that
>multiple engines will want to use the same format name, we can use a
>construct like this
>         WEB2CDIR = .;{$TEXMF}/{$engine,}//
>to get things sorted.  I've come to the conclusion that this kind of
>occurrence ought to be rare, especially on systems using fmtutil, so
>even that may be overkill.

nice and extensible; it would -for context- mean:

../texmf/aleph/cont-en.fmt (cont-nl.fmt, cont-de.fmt etc)
../texmf/pdfetex/cont-en.fmt (cont-nl.fmt, cont-de.fmt etc)
../texmf/metapost/metafun.mem (mptopdf.mem)

which is fine to me. I need to be able to distinguis between engines since 
the format name is kind of fixed for me.

(i need to patch texexec but that's no big deal; i guess that also the 
-efmt switch will become -fmt then)

maybe use 'format' instead of 'fmt' so that the new method is stressed

>Having a single extension for formats would clean up some things, but
>I do not feel strongly about it.  What I do feel strongly about is
>that we should either using a single extension, or have each engine
>use its own extension; at present we're doing neither as pdftex uses
>.fmt and pdfetex uses .efmt.

esp with combined engines in the end we will end up in problems; (there are 
also tex variants like xetex on the mac, which use xfmt)


More information about the tex-live mailing list