[tex-live] characters > 127 in .dtx and .sty files

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Wed Dec 23 09:08:18 CET 2009

Elie Roux <elie.roux at telecom-bretagne.eu> wrote:

> Karl Berry a écrit :
> > Yes, done, etextools.sty updated.
> Thank you! But it will break again on next CTAN update right?
> >     (which is the default)? 
> >
> > It is the default in tex.  It has not been the default in any other
> > engine for years.  I've found it's best to use latex as the default
> > engine to process ins/dtx.
> I didn't know that, thank you!
> >     At least for packages with this kind of characters in them.
> >
> > I don't want to make a wholesale change, because it seems to me that
> > could easily introduce as many errors as fixes.  If you feel like
> > grepping the runtime for non-ASCII characters and prove that wrong, let
> > me know ...
> Would another solution be to tell the package maintainters to provide
> a .tds.zip on CTAN with the files in the good format? I'll try to do
> it for packages with non-ASCII characters.
> Is there a page describing quickly what is a .tds.zip archive? I could
> send the link to package maintainers.

it's common for package maintainers to claim that .tds.zip is too much
bother.  if you look at the ones on the archive, they represent a rather
small proportion of the active authors list.


the CTAN:/support/ctanify package (on my list to evaluate over the
holiday break) will actually create one as part of the bundle it builds.

it appears to be un*x based -- i hope that doesn't bother you.

note, that if you're going to create a .tds.zip for the first time, it's
best to send it to cambridge, since i'm the one person on the ctan team
who is willing to deal with any problems (the others claim they will
just delete the file).

that said, i would be delighted to see more of the files on the
archive.  with the advent of auto-updating distributions, the files
should be needed less frequently, but an awful lot of people are stuck
with a non-update-able distribution that came with their linux install.
(i am, at work -- or would be if i weren't such a fidget that i have
several distributions on scratch disc available to me.)


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