[tex-live] Bad .cfg files in TeX source tree?

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Thu Feb 8 07:53:12 CET 2007

Heiko Oberdiek <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 07, 2007 at 09:49:28PM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
>> Then we would have to convince package authors to use this interface to
>> the detection of engine/output format, and both distributors, local
>> admins or individual users could make sensible choices.
> Unhappily it is not trivial:
> * For example, you setup a central place with "hypertex" as
>   driver for DVI output. Package hyperref will be happy, package
>   color or graphics won't.
> * Granularity:
>   * Most packages don't distinguish between dvipdfm and dvipdfmx.
>     Unhappily there is a small difference that is hit by package
>     bmpsize. Thus the package must differentiate.
>   * Or consider package dropping. The right driver option for
>     pdfTeX in PDF mode is dvips(!).

I am aware of that.  The interface we define would have to allow such
granular checking, and it should not hardcode the driver option, but
allow the package to ask.  I'm thinking of macros like \prefix at engine,
\prefix at output@format, \prefix at preferred@DVIprocessor.

Each package would still have to decide which of them it wants to query
and what it wants to do.  But 

- the checking would be done once, without danger of side effects
  affecting later checks

- engine maintainers could support exactly one method of detecting the
  engine, avoiding surprises on both sides. (For example, I'm not sure
  whether those package authors who test for existence of \pdfpagewidth
  instead of \pdfoutput won't be surprised to find their pdfTeX-related
  code to be fed into XeTeX...)

- Users can configure their individual viewing/postprocessing
  preferences globally, without adding (sometimes differing) driver
  options in the document.  On the other hand, per-document
  configuration is of course still possible (e.g. if a document itself
  needs a dvipdfmx workflow).

Regards, Frank
Dr. Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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