[tex-live] [de.comp.text.tex] Re: hfoldsty und microtype - font problem

Morten Høgholm moho01ab at student.cbs.dk
Sun Aug 28 00:46:25 CEST 2005

Karl Berry wrote:
>     Maybe, TL 2005 should also stop using these "new hacks" now!?
> Sorry, I continue to strongly disagree.  It will break thousands of
> users documents -- like every one that tests for pdftex up until last year.
> There is no good solution at this point.  Every compatible solution has
> been broken.

So if there is no good solution at all, why use the hack^2 version with 

The number of people who report problems on (de.)comp.text.tex is 
smaller than I had anticipated when the engines changed. When it happens 
they are told to use ifpdf and then that's it. More often than not they 
have already defined that \ifpdf switch themselves so it's easily fixed 
by simply deleting their own test and replacing with a package they 
already have installed.

I personally got hit by that same message about not running pdftex a 
week ago and I had to fiddle with a makefile in the cvs repository I was 
using to force dvi mode. Rather that than including a hackish solution 
that would restore \pdfXXX to its old state. I shall not repeat the 
words that came out of my mouth when it happened (they were in Danish, 

And yes, I'm also in a position where I think about backwards 
compatibility but in this case I don't see how we can a) decide to use 
pdfetex for almost everything and b) continue to hack our way around 
something that only ever worked due to shear luck. This way it's never 
going to be right.

I think now is a good time for me to be constructive:

What I think it very important is for stuff like The Not So Short... to 
include a description of the ifpdf package instead of what it does now 
(which is why I cc Tobias here). When I started out I looked at the 
source of that document and found out that I could just use 
\ifx\pdfoutout\undefined. I doubt I was the only one.


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