AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem

Randolph J. Herber herber at
Wed Aug 18 19:57:08 CEST 2004

The following header lines retained to effect attribution:
>Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 17:30:23 +0200
>From: Jeroen Wijnhout <wijnhout at>
>Subject: Re: AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem
>To: texhax at
>Reply-to: Jeroen.Wijnhout at
>	<mailto:texhax-request at>
>	<mailto:texhax-request at>

>On Wednesday 18 August 2004 16:31, Randolph J. Herber wrote:
>> 	Whereas it is possible that some ghostscript installations default
>> 	to legal size paper (8.5inx14in-216mmx356mmi-612ptx1008pt), it is
>> 	more probable that they default to letter size paper (8.5inx11in-
>> 	216mmx279mm-612ptx792pt), which is close to A4 (8.28inx11.7in-
>> 	210mmx297mm-596ptx843pt).

>> 	Now, if were possible to convince the Europeans to stop hard-
>> 	coding paper sizes into software instead of putting such data
>> 	into configuration files so that it would be easier to adjust
>> 	their software to work with letter paper, the European software
>> 	would be much more popular with United States users.

>Why are you complaining, it defaults to letter not A4. I'm the one that should
>be complaining, since I have A4 paper exclusively.

	On the same basis as you deny me the privilege to complain
	about a metric basis of European software.  And, my complaint
	was not about the metric basis itself; but, rather, the
	inability to rapidly and easily adjust to standard United
	States paper sizes (which may remain even if they become
	measured in metric units directly: e.g., 216mmx279mm).

	ghostscript defaults to letter paper because it is supported
	at the University of Wisconsin, United States of America, amd
	probably was written in the here as well.

	TeX and LaTeX as of late even though they were written in the
	United States and a2ps  are examples of the opposite and it is
	quite annoying to spend a day locating the points in their
	configuration files that need to be adjusted.  There are
	other products that I have given up on that I was requested
	to assist in the product's support because we could not
	locate the points in the code where the A4 assumptions
	were located.  That is what I was complaining about.


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Randolph J. Herber, herber at, +1 630 840 2966, CD/CDFTF PK-149F,
Mail Stop 318, Fermilab, Kirk & Pine Rds., PO Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510-0500,
USA.  (Speaking for myself and not for US, US DOE, FNAL nor URA.)  (Product,
trade, or service marks herein belong to their respective owners.)

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