[tex-live] pdftex.pool (was: texlive setup problems)

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Jan 27 02:17:56 CET 2017

On 2017-01-26 at 15:25:25 +0100, Martin Schröder wrote:

 > 2017-01-26 5:54 GMT+01:00 Charles E Campbell <astronaut at verizon.net>:
 > > This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013)
 > > ---! /home/cec/.texlive2016/texmf-var/web2c/pdftex/latex.fmt doesn't match
 > > pdftex.pool
 > > (Fatal format file error; I'm stymied)
 > [...]
 > > 1) I can't seem to find pdftex.pool; its not anywhere under
 > > .texlive2016 or /usr/local/texlive.
 > IIRC we made pool files obselete more than ten years ago and
 > deleted it.
 > Could we also fix the error message so it doesn't have users
 > searching for a file we deleted years ago?

The question is *why* this error message appeared at all.  The pdftex
binary from TL-2013 shouldn't look for a pool file.

Zdeněk's assumption is correct: The TL-2013 version of pdftex
obviously searches it's format files in ~/.texlive2016 .

But I can't imagine that whenever TeX (at least Knuth's TeX) detects
an incompatible format file it blames the pool file.  Hence it's not
sufficient to change the error message.  It's necessary to determine
the cause.

I'm sure that the bug was introduced when Taco eliminated the pool
files.  There are two things which are different from Knuth's TeX:

 1. Format files are binary files and thus not portable due to the
    endian-mess.  Karl made them platform-independent in order to
    support all the platforms we have in TeX Live.  But this change
    has nothing to do with pool files and certainly no impact on error

 2. Taco eliminated the pool files.  AFAIR, he told me at TUG-2006
    that what one has to do in order to insert strings into the
    program instead into a separate file is to replace single quotes
    by double qoutes in the WEB sources (or vice versa).  Maybe this
    wasn't sufficient.

Martin, I'm sure that you are quite familiar with the pdftex sources.
Can you find out *what* causes pdftex to complain about a missing pool


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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