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

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 16:38:24 CET 2007

On 3/7/07, Heiko Oberdiek <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de> wrote:

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

> > 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.

Effort is one thing, but in practice systems don't always provide
useful diagnostics and
the code would not be portable -- even a huge effort would not
suffice.  Rather than list likely reasons, the message could say "If
you don't know the reason, ask a wizard for help."

> * 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.

Hopefully each user only needs to read the help text once.  The main
advantage to encouraging the user to simply fix the problem and
continue is not saving time, but making the user aware of the specific
problem.  If you just issue a message and abort the job, users tend to
ignore or overlook the message (e.g., because TeX is being run from an
editor and the shell window closes when the job exits).  So it is
useful for the job to wait user for input.
Many users will type Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D without bothering to read
messages and expect the job to abort because that is common for other

I suspect that in the majority of cases, the user would prefer to fix
the problem and continue
with the original filename, so what about:

! I can't write on file `ex.aux'.
l.4 \immediate \openout \aux = ex.aux

If you don't know why you got this error, ask a wizard for help.
Enter `R' to retry after fixing the problem;  any other response aborts the job:

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

More information about the tex-live mailing list