[tex-live] [firstname.lastname@example.org: [texhax] inconsistency between
pdftex and tex]
karl at freefriends.org
Sun Oct 19 20:44:33 CEST 2003
Prepending pdf might be the right thing
for pdftex, be we rely on some convention here and such things can
> Maybe we should just forget about %& altogether?
I am unsure if there is some real use for this feature.
I'll append the most relevant message I found in my archives from 1995,
when the feature got added. In today's environment, I am not convinced.
I know that it is used for the metapost -> tex (resp. latex)
communication. But, is it useful for anything else in real life?
Why would it be needed for metapost->tex/latex? If there is *any* real
life application, then it's probably worth keeping.
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 01:09:46 +0000 (GMT)
From: Laurence Yaffe <lgy at newton.phys.washington.edu>
To: kb at cs.umb.edu (K. Berry)
Cc: web2c-wizards at cs.umb.edu
Subject: Re: [rokicki at cs.stanford.edu: %& tricks?]
> Can anyone see any significant downside to this idea of Tom's?
> From: Tomas G. Rokicki <rokicki at CS.Stanford.EDU>
> To: kb at cs.umb.edu
> Subject: %& tricks?
> Date: Tue, 14 Mar 95 13:07:03 -0800
> On the NeXT I've found it useful to modify TeX so that, if no format is
> specified on the command line but a file name is specified on the command
> line, to open that file and take a sneak peak at the first line. If the
> first line is
> followed by a `word', then that `word' is taken to be the format to open.
> Thus, for instance, one can have files like
> or [...]
> and then these files become somewhat self-identifying. The reason this
> was useful was because all of these files have icons that point at the
> TeXview program, yet TeXview handles many different formats. I can also
> consider this useful in general on command-line systems and windowing
> The patch is, of course, totally trivial.
For years, I've used a similar scheme. The only differences are that:
a) I use a separate 'wrapper' program instead of modifying virtex itself,
b) My wrapper looks for lines like: %format=latex
I have found that making all TeX files (regardless of what format they use)
self-identifying (so that 'tex some-file' is always sufficient to run them)
is very convenient. I strongly support getting functionality of this sort into
the standard distribution. Exactly what syntax to use is a minor detail --
I don't have any problem with Tom's choice. Whether to use a separate
wrapper program, or modify virtex itself, is an implementation detail.
I'd be happy to see the functionality in virtex itself.
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