[tex-live] \"\i causes problems with texlive 2015

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Sun Jun 14 20:36:00 CEST 2015

2015-06-14 19:29 GMT+02:00 Philip Taylor <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>:
> Norbert Preining wrote:
>> On Sun, 14 Jun 2015, Philip Taylor wrote:
>>> Am I alone in longing for a return to the days when TeXhax was a
>> Phil, this is 1) not texhax
> Agreed. Mea culpa.
>> 2) people here are friendly, but expect a certain level of
>> cooperation
> If the TeX-Live list is "friendly", then I would hate to participate in
> one that is unfriendly. There are a few invariably friendly contributors
> (and I single out Akira-san as a paragon of politeness, although a few
> others get very close), but unfortunately there are also a number of
> contributors who can be relied upon to be acerbic, aggressive, abrasive
> and intolerant.
>> 3) we are not here to fulfil your very specific expectations.
> There is no "we"; there are people with problems, and people who can
> help with those problems. Some unfailingly attempt to do so in a
> friendly and helpful manner; some usually attempt to help in such a
> manner, but become exasperated when the information they seek is not
> forthcoming, or when they believe (rightly or wrongly) that the
> questioner is not understanding their replies, and allow that
> exasperation to come through in their replies; and there are some who
> simply make me ashamed to be a member of this community.
This is becoming a problem of many forums. People searching help think
that all other people are clairvoyants who are able to answer even
questions that have not been asked. What I have seen is that a problem
was mentioned without presenting the real code. Other people claimed
that similar code runs perfectly. Then instead of presenting the
failing code some software tools were deliberatelly declared buggy
without demonstrating a bug. Do you consider such behaviour as
searching for help?

It happend to me that someone asked me for help. I wanted to see a
demonstratin of the bug and I received 300+ pages of code. I have
never answered, I have no time to read 300+ pages. I have also
received a bug report. I asked for a sample and I received about 50
lines of code. It took me some time but I was able to find the source
of the problem and I helped. In the third case I got to know that
someone says that my package does not work aty all. I contacted that
person, asked for a sample code and found a clash with another
package. I have modified my package and the problem disappeared. Cases
2 and 3 were useful both for me and for the person seeking help. Now,
am I impolite because I refused to read 300+ pages of code in my
leisure time?

What can we do if the failing code is not presented? If you can, it is
your turn to show that you are more polite and answer. However, I have
not seen your answer either. If you look at any bugzilla, you will see
that the instructions say that it is necessary to give an exact
sequence of steps to reproduce the error. It is not possible to help
without these steps.

>> And from now please stop calling other members who try to explain and
>> help strange names.
> You must be confusing me with someone else -- I have called no-one
> names, strange or otherwise. I have simply expressed a heartfelt wish
> that all questions should be answered with politeness and respect, a
> wish that in two occasions in the last 24 hours has been honoured more
> in the breach than in the observance.
> What I believe is that before anyone posts a reply, they should apply
> the "bnb" test : that is, they should re-read their words and then ask
> themselves "would Barbara Beeton, who has helped more TeX users than
> most of us have had hot dinners, have written what I am about to
> post ?". If the answer is "no", then it should not be sent -- it should
> be re-written it in a /helpful/ way that neither sets out to demonstrate
> that the question/questioner is stupid, nor sets out to demonstrate the
> author's intellectual superiority.
>> You are helping the community much less with your useless comments
>> than Reinhard with his trial to explain everything.
> I hear your opinion; I prefer to leave the judgement to those whose
> opinions I respect.
> ** Phil.

Zdeněk Wagner

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