[tex-live] Fontspec overriding default paper size with LuaTeX

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at icloud.com
Thu May 26 18:13:42 CEST 2016

> Le 26 mai 2016 à 16:14, Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com> a écrit :
> If I understand the concept well, the default page size (A4 or letter) is set for the output drivers, not for LaTeX classes. 

Several things here:

- Originally I thought this was all caused by the replacement of \pdfpageheight by \pageheight etc. in the new LuaTeX. It turns out this has nothing to do with it, and is caused by LaTeX.

- In principle, I'm all for the simplicity implied by the LaTeX design, seen from the user's point of view: the user doesn't want to have to know about the difference between paper size (\LaTeX's \paperheight etc.) and media size (the driver's \pageheight etc.); they expect to specify [a4paper] and have everything taken care of such that the output is designed for and delivered on A4 paper.

- But what's confusing is that this is not implemented as a core LaTeX functionality, and instead added by an optional package whose functionality is not directly connected with page design. It's confusing for the user to call the graphics/x package for figure inclusion with \includegraphics, and find out suddenly the page size of the output has changed. It's even more confusing for the user -- like me -- to call fontspec so as to load fonts installed at the OS level, and find out the page size of the output has also changed.

- In any case, I'm not sure this is a good thing to assume that when the user says nothing (ie \documentclass{article} instead of \documentclass[a4paper]{article}), then assume that they want the LaTeX default to be enforced by graphics/x. The user might not even know there is such a default -- I didn't.

The user is generally asked at install time to specify the paper size for all drivers/engines, and if not a suitable default is chosen -- on the Mac taken from the printer settings in the system prefs. That's all the user generally knows about. So I would have expected that, when the user specifies nothing, then LaTeX remains neutral on the matter and just lets the paper size be as specified by the engine/driver settings.

The above for all it's worth: I was reporting this because I thought this was a bug connected with the new LuateX design, hence worth considering and possibly fixing before the new TL release. But since it's not, the matter is far from pressing.


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