[tex-live] a bit of mess with unix binaries and man pages

Thomas Esser te@informatik.uni-hannover.de
Wed, 17 Apr 2002 18:17:41 +0200

> btw, why the xdvi (and oxdvi) script includes:
> xdvi.bin $NAMEOPT ${1+"$@"}
> but not
> exec xdvi.bin $NAMEOPT ${1+"$@"}
> as it did in one of previous versions?

It is not really much you gain by that "exec". Modern UNIX systems do
a copy on demand, i.e. if you have two versions of one binary running
(/bin/sh in this case), only the changed memory segments are copied and
occupy extra space. By the exec, you terminate the parent process,
i.e. the /bin/sh and you can free some extra memory (but the real gain are
only the modified memory segments).

On the other hand, the exec has the disadvantage that a calling process
no longer knows that "xdvi" is still running. This has a negative
impact, e.g. when using AUC TeX in emacs.

In short: I don't think that the gain of using "exec" is worth the