[tex-live] papersizes: in the document or as system-wide setting?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Jun 18 00:41:46 CEST 2008

Reinhard Kotucha writes:
 > Frank Küster writes:
 >  > Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
 >  > 
 >  > > Frank Küster writes:
 >  > >  > So we decided to change the default for pdfTeX, dvips and dvipdfm with
 >  > >  > the Debian system papersize (as specified by libpaper). 
 >  > >
 >  > > Could you send me a list of papersizes supported by Debian?  
 >  > 
 >  > $ paperconf -ans
 > Hi Frank,
 > thank you very much. 
 > Seems that most of the paper sizes you mentioned are supported by
 > dvips already.  I'll look into it tomorrow.

Hi Frank,
the paper sizes supported by Debian which are not supported by dvips

  b10 b7 b8 b9 c2 c3 c4 c6 c7 c8

Adding them to config.dvips makes sense, IMO.

But what I'm not sure about is whether it makes much sense to allow
people to set all the papersizes supported by dvips as a default.

The idea behind config.dvips is that you specify one default value
once and select other paper formats on the command line when needed.
Most of the paper formats supported by dvips don't qualify as a
default value.  They are useful for particular files only.

It's not a technical problem.  All known paper formats can be made
available to dvips, pdftex, dvipdfm[x]... and there is no problem if
people run tlmgr from the command line (tlmgr paper foo).  But there
is a graphical user interface now and it is very annoying that there
are so many entries in the dvips pull-down menu for things that nobody

 > Yes - I was always a bit puzzled why the available paper sizes were
 > not synchronized.

The code which is responsible for paper sizes we currently have in TeX
Live hopefully does exactly the same thing as Thomas Esser's
texconfig.  The only difference is that it is written in texlua in
order to make the gap between TL for Unix and TL for Windows smaller.

The only reason it behaves exactly as Thomas' texconfig script was to
postpone any discussions... But expect changes in TL-2009.

In short, my personal opinion is to leave things as they are now.
What I absolutely don't want to do is to provide new features which
have to be dropped next year. 


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

More information about the tex-live mailing list