[tex-live] TL 2010 : Does XeLaTeX search for Emacs, and if so, why ?!

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Sep 6 02:45:18 CEST 2010

On 5 September 2010 Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) wrote:

 > OK, all understood Akira (both messages); perhaps in
 > a future release (TL2011+) you might be willing
 > to consider making the default an editor that can
 > reasonably be  expected to exist in a normal Windows
 > installation (Emacs is pretty "niche" in the Windows
 > world, as I'm sure you realise).

Hi Phil,
I don't think it makes much sense.  The point is that you never should
rely on compile-time defaults.  TEXEDIT is a per-user variable and
should always be set it the environment of a particular user.  In
texmf.cnf this variable is deliberately not set for this reason and
because there is only one texmf.cnf for all platforms.

Another question is which editor should be the default on Windows.
The one *you* think is best for Windows users?  There are so many
different ones and most Windows users have never seen anything else
but TeXniccenter.  Should this be the default?

It's quite common, especially on Windows, that people run TeX from
their editor or IDE in batchmode, hence they never encounter a
situation where they can start an editor during a TeX run.  I can only
confirm what Robin already said.

The compile-time defaults are what developers use for testing their
code.  They are not meant for end users.  When I unset $TEXEDIT, then
pdftex starts vi, which isn't surprising because Vim is Thanh's
favourite editor.  And for testing code on many platforms you need an
editor which runs on all of them.  emacs and vi are good choices.

I recommend not to change these defaults for Windows.  Sorry Phil, but
Akira is not the author of these programs.  If his build environment
can be improved in order to produce binaries which are closer to what
Windows users expect, it's fine.  If he optimizes the many Windows
specific programs written by himself or by Fabrice, it's fine too.

But patching programs written by others is always quite problematic.
You have to make sure that your patches don't break anything whenever
you compile a new release.  This is quite painful and I really hope
that Akira can compile all these programs on Windows without modifying
the sources too much.

Since TEXEDIT has to be set by end users (if they really need it at
all), I don't think there is any good reason to make the build process
more complex as it already is.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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