[tex-live] comma versus colon in texmf.cnf

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Thu Jun 14 02:07:22 CEST 2007

karl at freefriends.org (Karl Berry) writes:

> I changed the comments in texmf.cnf.
> Comma is not deprecated as a brace element separator {foo,bar} as far as
> I'm concerned.
> It appears that only : can be used as a brace element separator on Unix:
>   $ kpsewhich --expand-braces='a{b;c}'
>   ab;c
> shows no expansion, while
>   $ kpsewhich --expand-braces='a{b:c}'
>   ab:ac
> is correctly expanded.  That seems like a deficiency (patches welcome,
> I'm not going to work on it), because ...
> ... either ; or : can be used for path element separator in texmf.cnf,
> regardless of the underlying system convention.  E.g., these are
> equivalent in texmf.cnf:
> TEXINPUTS = /some/dir:/another/dir
> TEXINPUTS = /some/dir;/another/dir
> I believe, though I haven't checked, that either : or ; can be used in
> environment variables on Unix.  On Windows, I believe only ; can be
> used, due to Windows limitations (I was told).
> Hope this muddies the water sufficiently ,;:).

I already stated my opinion that I would want those directories to
accept _both_ colons _as well as_ semicolons as path separators in
_arbitrary_ mixtures.

With the sole exception that a colon preceded by a just a _single_
letter is considered part of the drive name.

That way scripts adding material to environment variables will even
work when they are using a different convention from the one used
already in the environment variable.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

More information about the tex-live mailing list