[tex-live] No room for a new \write

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Sat Mar 17 17:53:03 CET 2007

Heiko Oberdiek wrote:

> I don't see a problem leaving a gap that \write16, \write17,

I do: it is ugly programming. It is bad enough that in eTeX the
\box255 is still a special case and that (I think) the \inserts
are still counting down from 255 instead of 32767. Let's not add
another of those.

> \write18 or other special \write registers aren't effected by
> the write register allocation. The allocation code just need
> to know, how to reliable test whether additional writes are
> available. For exmaple, e-TeX version number, if it would be
> part of e-TeX. Or a new primitive for this purpose.

How about simply making \newwrite and \newread primitive
operations? They are nothing more than a \chardef and a bit
of bookkeeping anyway. Then the executable can skip whatever
number it feels is magical, and a normal user will never know
the difference.

Best wishes,


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