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.dvi files and VMS

.dvi files and VMS
  (J"org first technical problem) 

 > I don't think, that storing documents in dvi-format only is a good idea. I
 > have made too many bad experiences.
 > The first is, that dvi-files aren't really portable. Under VMS you have
 > first to convert an ftp'ed dvi-file to the usual record structure (the
 > easier task, if you know about it). The worse one is, that for some drivers
 > (2 out of 4 at our site) you also should pad the last record with the magic
 > end bytes instead of zeroes. Not very nice.

I suspect such problems have trivial solutions.  Let's check it out.

I have heard that VMS has no idea what a binary file is --- all of
its files being made of "records".  I am very surprised to hear that
some TeX installations under VMS fail to supply import and export
facilities for standard binary .dvi files. Which TeXs/drivers are
these? Are they supported? Is there some problem in creating a tiny
VMS facility for import-export of .dvi files?  Is there no VMS
variant of .dvi format that is valid for *all* drivers
operating under VMS?

Is there some reason why .dvi files cause trouble while equally
binary .tfm, .vf and .pk files do not?

Laurent Siebenmann