[tex-live] Bug in TexLive 2005 and 2007? Non-writable aux-file

Heiko Oberdiek oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de
Wed Mar 7 15:15:27 CET 2007

On Wed, Mar 07, 2007 at 09:28:32AM -0400, George N. White III wrote:

> On 3/7/07, Robin Fairbairns <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> >indeed the user might.  however, the user also has the option of
> >starting again, and given the potential pitfalls i would suggest that
> >"no file" is probably the best  assumption.
> It is annoying when a simple file permissions problem can only be
> solved by "redo from start", 

There are other kinds of errors, e.g. writing on read-only file system,
invalid file name, ...
  I fear, most users don't know about file permissions. Even the
TeX message just says:
  I can't write on file `...'.

> in part because the user may need a
> couple attempts to fix a permission problem (e.g., when both file and
> directory permissions prevent writing or they end up as user "nobody"
> on some NFS mount).

Either the problem is trivial, then one shot is enough, or
the problem is more complicate, then this is not a reason
to complicate TeX for the other users.

> Allowing the user to continue after attempting to
> fix the problem or (Windows) closing the file in Adobe Reader permits
> experimentation to solve permission problems.
> --------------------------------------------------
> ! I can't write on file `ex.aux'.
> l.4 \immediate \openout \aux = ex.aux
> Please fix the problem and enter <CR> to continue wth the same name,
> or type another output file name (Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D aborts the job):
> --------------------------------------------------

Currently Ctrl-C (or Ctrl-D) doesn't work this way.
Probably this is much harder to implement.

> or:
> --------------------------------------------------
> ! I can't write on file `ex.aux'.
> l.4 \immediate \openout \aux = ex.aux
> Please type another output file name (or Ctrl-H for more details):^H
> The named file could be opened for writing.  The file may already
> exist with read-only
> permissions or may already have been opened by another program, you
> may not have  permission to create new files in the directory, or the
> device may be full. You may enter <CR> to continue processing with the
> same name after fixing the problem, enter Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to about
> the job, or enter another filename.  If you enter <CR> and the problem
> was not fixed, you will be prompted again.  Note that if you do not
> provide an extension, the default (.tex) will be supplied.

I fear, this is too long:
* There are too many reasons for failed file opens.
  Instead of a list, the real reason would be useful.
  But this requires greater implementation effor, thus not practical.
* The user options are too complicate. In the same time for reading
  and understanding the help text, the user could have restarted the
  whole job several times.

Yours sincerely
  Heiko <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de>

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