[tex-live] PDFVIEWER enviroment variable

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Nov 27 03:45:03 CET 2010

On 26 November 2010 Werner LEMBERG wrote:

 > [SVN rev. 20561]
 > Is this
 >   > PDFVIEWER=evince texdoc texdoc
 > expected to work?  According to section 3.3 in the documentation, it
 > should.  However, on my GNU/Linux box, it doesn't.  Only
 > TEXDOCVIEW_pdf works.  TEXDOC_VIEWER_PDF fails too.

Hi Werner,
I get

$ TEXDOC_VIEWER_PDF=less texdoc texdoc
"/usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf/doc/texdoc/texdoc.pdf" may be a binary file.  See it anyway? 

but I don't expect that this works everywhere else.  It depends on the
environment.  Please keep in mind that if you set PDFVIEWER=evince,
you don't tell texdoc to use evince as a PDF viewer.  You just add a
new variable to your environment.

Accoding to the manual, the variable "PDFVIEWER_texdoc" has highest
precedence.  I suppose that the variable "PDFVIEWER" has lowest
precedence because it's assumed to be a system default, i.e. not
texdoc related.

Do you have any texdoc-related variables already set in your environment?

 > Bug?

Maybe.  It makes sense to try to make programs work out-of-the-box.
It's required then to check whether a particular system default

What IMO doesn't make any sense at all is to support zillions of
ancient versions of texdoc, even the shell script from teTeX.  At a
first glance it's nice if people who switch from teTeX to TeX Live
still get the same PDF viewer as in teTeX.  But we are living in 2010
now and IMO backward compatibility with teTeX isn't needed anymore.
It adds extra complexity to the program and to the documentation.  

IMO it's better to drop backward compatibility (ignore environment
variables used by older versions of texdoc) in order to avoid


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.

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