[tex-live] [www-ptex 163999] Conflicting binary/format names: platex is polish and japanese

Staszek Wawrykiewicz staw at gust.org.pl
Wed Feb 21 22:37:56 CET 2007

[I've added Marcin and Jerzy, after recapitulating them to the whole 

On Tue, 20 Feb 2007, Hideaki Togashi wrote:

> Hello Dr. Frank and other members,
> This is Hideaki Togashi of ASCII Co. in Japan.
> Thank you for your contacting to us.
> I've been worrying about this matter.  But we couldn't do nothing.
> pTeX was developed as jTeX on 1987, and pTeX (publishing TeX) was
> opend to public on 1989.  Since then, we Japanese have used the names
> 'ptex' and 'platex', and we are accustomed to the names.  It took a
> very long time for us to recognize the existence of Polish TeX.  It
> was on teTeX we found Polish TeX as far as I can remember.

We (Polish users) are very sorry using "platex" name for so many years. 
The problem is that ptex  (and platex) never existed on CTAN, considered
as an *absolute* reference for the TeX related stuff. (btw., why?)

> For now, first of all, I let some pTeX members (including people
> outside of ASCII Co.) know your e-mail, and asked them any idea.  I
> hope there may be some good solution to this problem.

Quoting Akira Kakuto from just received mail (I hope that Akira can agree 
with that):
>I've found that $TEXMF/tex/latex/platex contains only packages and font
>definitions which are not written in the format, and this directory
>can be renamed without problem.
>$TEXMF/tex/platex contains language.dat in which
>many patterns except for
>polish          plhyph.tex
>are disabled compared to the generic language.dat.
>I think this is the only difference between platex.fmt and latex.fmt.
>So I believe Staszek can do well by using latex.fmt without platex.fmt.
>If I'm wrong, pardon me.

As I recall, the only problem while introducing separate platex format was
that (Polish) platex also uses _private_ hyphen.cfg. As we encountered the
babel package broken several times in the past, we decided just to avoid
all the problems related to babel and make separate format file :-) 

[btw. it is something strange that canonical latex format file is still
dependent on hyphen.cfg provided by the *external* (for the *base* latex
distribution!) package. In our opinion, it simply breaks the whole latex's
prerequisites; but sorry, it is another story, nothing against latex
and/or babel.]

As we hopefully received some opinions from our Japanese friends, I still
believe that we can find some good solution. But I'm afraid, it will take
some time to propagate and change all existing distibutions (teTeX,
MiKTeX, fpTeX, TeX Live, as well as users' accustoms, etc.). As I see, the
consequence for the distributions would be also changing Polish "platex"
(also in directory names!) to something different, say, pollatex (it is,
e.g., important to the TeXLive's packaging concept!, not to mention CTAN
and Catalogue)

All in all, I think that Polish "platex" would follow all the above just
to meet and welcome Japanese needs.

Kind regards,

Staszek Wawrykiewicz
StaW at gust.org.pl

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