[metapost] mptopdf corrupts source file - Engines.tar.bz2 (1/1)

Oliver Buerschaper oliver.buerschaper at mpq.mpg.de
Sun Jan 17 18:04:59 CET 2010

Hi Nicola,

> Let me clarify a bit. I have written two scripts:
> (1) metapost.engine: runs your source file through 'mpost'.
> (2) metafun.engine: runs your source file through 'mpost -mem=metafun' 
> and then processes the output with 'mptopdf'. This shouldn't be any 
> different from processing the source files directly with mptopdf (the 
> main reason why the script doesn't do that is because mptopdf doesn't 
> understand filenametemplate).
> So, you should use (2) whenever you need features from MetaFun/ConTeXt. 
> Unfortunately, the script that is run when you choose 'mptopdf' in 
> TeXShop preferences is (1), not (2) - which is certainly confusing. I 
> will ask Richard Koch to fix that.
> That said, (1) generates a preview document using LaTeX and (2) 
> generates a preview document using ConTeXt (texexec). As you point out, 
> the preview document is not meant to be included in other documents. 
> But, (2) *does* output a pdf for each figure (with mptopdf). And (1) 
> does it in the updated version attached below (when the variable 
> $CONVERTPDF is set to 1). In every case, the conversion to pdf is 
> handled by mptopdf, so the bounding boxes should have the correct size.
> So, I suggest you to try the engines from TeXShop's Inactive folder or, 
> even better, those attached below and report to me if you find bugs or 
> have suggestions for improvements.
> Regards,
> Nicola
> PS: btw, has mptopdf been deprecated in favor of a different method (I 
> think I've read something about that, but now I cannot remember)? If 
> that is the case, is the new method still in development stage or is it 
> stable?

Many thanks for your explanation! I tried your attached engine scripts and they work with the examples you supplied. However, consider this:


    draw btex Hello world! etex;


This is a typical example for my workflow where I need the labels to be typeset by ConTeXt. Apparently this is *not* what happens in your MetaFun script, see this mpxerr.log:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (TeX Live 2009) (format=etex 2010.1.15)  17 JAN 2010 17:57
entering extended mode
 %&-line parsing enabled.
! Undefined control sequence.
l.1 \setupbodyfont
The control sequence at the end of the top line
of your error message was never \def'ed. If you have
misspelled it (e.g., `\hobx'), type `I' and the correct
spelling (e.g., `I\hbox'). Otherwise just continue,
and I'll forget about whatever was undefined.

[1] [1] )
Output written on mp747443.dvi (2 pages, 296 bytes).


Best wishes,

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