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

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Thu Feb 22 00:36:09 CET 2007

Robin Fairbairns <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> writes:

> Staszek Wawrykiewicz <staw at gust.org.pl> wrote:
>> The problem is that ptex  (and platex) never existed on CTAN, considered
>> as an *absolute* reference for the TeX related stuff. (btw., why?)
> ctan's considered a reference source, on the grounds that the previous
> situation was such a complete shambles -- you might hear that a package
> existed, but you then had to investigate where copies might exist, and
> to evaluate which of those copies was current.
> look at CTAN:obsolete/help/tex-styles-and-macros.txt as a snapshot of
> what life was like back then.  (it was even worse for us in the uk: when
> i first started using networks, we didn't have ip networking, and had to
> submit quota-restricted batch jobs on an overloaded gateway machine, to
> retrieve things from outside of the country.)

Sure, and in my youth I had to help my mother with her computer
problems by letting her spell out punch cards over the phone "no wait,
I think that hole in row 9 is actually in the fourteenth column" --
groan -- and trying to replicate the problem on my CDC 6400 in my
bathroom (computer nerds were supposed not to be picky about personal
hygiene, so that internal redecoration was quite appropriate) before
the coin-operated electricity meter ran out.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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