[tex-live] No room for a new \write

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Sat Mar 17 11:50:39 CET 2007


Philip & Le Khanh wrote:
> Heiko Oberdiek wrote:
>> I don't know and don't understand why the number of write/read
>> registers weren't increased in e-TeX like other registers.
>> Write nodes have enough place for storing much larger register
>> numbers.
> I'm sure we debated it (endlessly !).  But to be honest,
> I don't remember why it wasn't increased, although the
> pre-emptive strike on \write 18 /might/ have had something
> to do with it (too many broken programs).  I've cc'd
> Peter, Bernd, Friedhelm \& Jiri in case one of them
> remembers, but with e-PdfTeX now in the hands of
> Taco /et al/, it is really he/they who would need to
> address this issue for the future.

I don't think I have ever seen an example where there was a serious
need for more than 16 read or write allocators. I would like to see an
actual example of a document with no programming errors and with no
excessively sloppy handling of resources that still needs more than
16 distinct read or write handles (simultaneously or sequentially).

I presume such a document is possible, but until I see a practical
example, I am very reluctant to support/do a change to eTeX. Not in
the least because of \write18 compatibility issues. And in luatex,
you can open and close all the files you like by using the lua
interface to the operating system's IO libraries, so there is no
need for \openout at all.


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