Relative paths with windows path separator does not work in TeXlive2019.

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at
Fri Jul 26 11:37:16 CEST 2019


pá 26. 7. 2019 v 11:15 odesílatel Taylor, P <P.Taylor at> napsal:
> Kirill Balunov wrote:
> Philip thank you! I agree with your comments about ambiguity, also `TeX --help` has a comment about starting with a `backslash`, I'm ok with it. But there is a tiny little dot (full stop) in the beginning of my examples, and I expect it should be enough to dispel ambiguity -> I worte `TeX .\some\file.tex` and not  `TeX \some\file.tex` without a dot, does this make sense to you?
> It makes perfect sense, Kirill, but unfortunately it does not (cannot) do what you expect (or would wish).  "TeX .\some\file.tex" will be parsed as :
>     TeX (operating system command)
>     "." (file to be processed by TeX)
>     "\some" (TeX command)
>     "\file" ( – ditto – )
>     ".tex" (characters to be typeset).
The whole problem is a bit more complex. Don Knuth decided to use \ as
an escape character because at the time of TeX's birth it was not
used. UNIX always had / as a path separator. CP/M and older OSes for
8-bit computers worker with floppy disks and there were no
directories. Even the first version of MS-DOS have no concept of
directories, only later \ was introduced as a path separator. Later
even the MS-DOS system libraries were able to recognize both \ and /
(try to write a program in C and test yourself). However, the system
commands as copy, move, ren, del insist in usage of \ and reject /.
This is not a problem that MS-DOS and Windows would not understand,
they would but these commands reject /. On the contrary, TeX does not
accept just a file name but also TeX commands so the dot does not
prevent TeX commands from being interpreted as TeX commands.

Zdeněk Wagner

More information about the tex-live mailing list