[tex-live] Runtime limitations on open files?

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sat Aug 18 09:49:54 CEST 2007

Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> [various things clipped]
> Windows is pure crap.  At work I'm forced to to use Windows, sigh....

windows does what it's designed for, rather well.  for some inscrutable
reason, m$ didn't design it to be a comfortable home for your average
hacker.  (like you or me.)
> Since Windows doesn't provide a reasonable user interface, I installed
> GNU-Emacs.

windows provides a user interface that is (in principle) good for those
who need it.

i hate it, but it wasn't designed for people like me ... but i am often
irritated that i need to help our admin people when they get stuck in
one of its nooks and/or crannies.  imo, it tries to do too much, and
slips when things get really complicated.

contrast this with the un*x style of "you need to know this arcanely-
named command before you can do that sort of thing".  for all that i
dislike windows' ui, i'm glad we no longer require our admin people to
do that (we migrated the last of them when nt4 became stable).

> Can anyone explain me why I can access remote file systems on Windows
> with Emacs (in dired mode) ***immediately*** and it takes about 20
> seconds when I try the same with "Windows Explorer"?

i've the same irritation about file systems under linux (firefox in
particular is *really* silly there ... *all* significant file systems
are remote, at work).

> Our administrators are clueless.

i'm not terribly clueful, but my colleague is really good.  this isn't a
bad combination -- he does the complicated stuff, i trot out to help
with the ui queries (as mentioned above).

> I'm clueless too.  But I'm happy that I have Emacs. 

emacs isn't for everyone (any more than vi is).  for all that i like it,
i don't feel the need to force it on anyone else.  i (vehemently) hate
word, but that feeling doesn't extend to wanting to teach (la)tex or
context to a temporary receptionist (for example).

in summary, imo -- it's horses for courses.  we (says he, sweepingly
including himself in the tex-live team) need to support both types of
system (and, of course, macs too).  if there weren't the odd problem on
one type of system, that doesn't appear on the others, it would be truly
amazing -- there are enough differences of system style that problems on
one are inevitable different on the other.

so there's no need for a flame war -- phil's right to that extent.  and
if you're really keen on such a thing, there are lots of usenet advocacy
groups, where flame wars are the order of the day.  let's concentrate on
what we're here for.


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