[tex-live] kpsewhich

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Sat Mar 27 13:33:26 CET 2004

On Fri, 26 Mar 2004, Olaf Weber wrote:

> What you need for this is to use an interpreter that can, in a way
> that is common to all its incarnations on different OSes, be
> instructed to start _this_ command with _these_ arguments, and have
> the arguments treated as literal strings.  If the interpreter doesn't
> allow for that, than _it_ cannot be used for OS-independent work that
> involves calling helper programs.

Interpreting command-line args is not the only difference between
the various shells (*n*x *sh, command.com, cmd.exe, ???).
If you are going to start defining the requirements for a suitable
interpreter, don't forget to include calling a helper program
with an explicit path -- texexec.pl was broken on Win9x because
it tried to use "/" in explicit paths.

TexLive currently follows a unix-style approach that relies on many simple
programs working together.  Windows ports of these utilities don't always
deal with the differences in a consistent way, you can't be sure what
programs are installed on a given machine, and there are performance
issues.  fpTeX already provides perl and other tools that come with *n*x.
Maybe TL needs to provide a shell (one of the reasons our users loved

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

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