[tex-live] Bug in syntax package

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Thu Sep 7 15:50:57 CEST 2006

> On Wednesday 06 September 2006 19:00, David Kastrup wrote:
> > karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) writes:
> > >     When I wrote, "I have no idea where this version of syntax.sty comes
> > >     from" I meant, "because it's not the one from CTAN".
> > >
> > > I have no idea either, but I have just updated the version in TL
> > > from CTAN.  Thanks much for pointing this out.  Er, deleted all the
> > > dvi files too.  Well, maybe someday there will be pdf's :).
> >
> > Frankly, for something like TeXlive, I don't see the point in having
> > PDFs instead of DVI.  Take up much more space (how many copied of
> > cmr10 do we want on the disk?) and are much slower to access.  TeXlive
> > has a viable and fast viewer for DVI, one could even set up the DVI
> > files to be compiled with source specials into the source tree, and if
> > any Type3 fonts happen to end up in the PDF, they are at fixed
> > resolution, whereas with DVI one still has a chance to render them
> > properly for the configured printer.
> If we could agree on a convention for naming the documentation
> files (so that they are not confused with the actual macro being
> documented) then putting the source of the documentation out
> there would be the best thing IMO. If an European puts documentation
> out there it will likely be in an A paper size. An American will
> use letter size. In either case it is an awkward size for
> someone's printer.  Given the .tex version of the document one can
> adjust one or two statements and get the correct size for local
> printing. 

if only it were that simple: while there are those who would welcome a
common format for uploading packages, i am (still) regularly startled
by the variations that submitters manage to come up with, to confuse
us mere archivists (and in parallel, distribution managers).  the
latest witty twist is with heiko oberdiek's small packages that may in
principle be distributed just as .pdf files -- the .dtx source is
attached to the pdf.  

while it's true in principle that one could simply distribute source,
and let the user get on with creating their own documentation, i
can't imagine the average user will be happy with producing their own

> OTOH if you put a dvi out there then I must convert it to
> to pdf in one or two steps and print it via Acrobat Reader, using the
> "fit to paper size" feature. This shrinks the document which
> makes it harder to read. (My eyes are old.)

i don't understand your point here: sure, we oldies (and visually
disabled people such as my wife[*]) struggle with any documentation, and
any shrink we experience adds to our discomfort.  yet no-one suggests
that you may not recompile the sources, just that there's a simpler
route for those for whom it's appropriate.

> I haven't tested it this AM but intuitively actual source would
> be smaller than even dvi.  

mostly it is.  however, distributing compiled documentation is
inevitably an overhead by comparison with a source-only distribution.


[*] wife's preferred reading method is no contact lens, paper ~=1cm
from eye.  anything on screen has to be grossly magnified.

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