AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem

Randolph J. Herber herber at
Wed Aug 18 20:27:29 CEST 2004

The following header lines retained to effect attribution:
>Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 16:36:59 +0100
>From: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk>
>Subject: Re: AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem
>To: "Randolph J. Herber" <herber at>

>The following header lines retained to effect attribution:

>Randolph J. Herber wrote:


>> 	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.


>I'm sure this would be far simpler tha[n] convincing your fellow
>Americans to use sensible paper sizes such as the ISO A/B/C [1]
>series ...

	Yes, I agree it would be far simplier to convince the
	Europeans to make their software capable and flexible
	than to force a major portion of the world's economy to
	immediately switch to using ISO standard, but not sensible,
	paper sizes.  It also would take considerably less effort:
	a minor programming effort on the part of the authors once
	compared to a major economic effort to replace much
	of the paper handling and storage equipment and facilities
	in the United States and Canada (which is being moved to
	by making the equipment capable of handling either set of
	paper sizes). When almost all such equipment can handle
	either set of paper sizes would be the time to do such a
	switch.  The only significant advantage to the ISO sizes
	is that cutting sheets parallel to the short sides results
	in the next smaller sheet size.

>	"Globalization starts with getting the details right.
>	 Inconsistent use of SI units and international
>	 standard paper sizes remain today a primary
>	 cause for U.S. businesses failing to meet
>	 the expectations of the global economy."

	To give the source of the quote above:

	The author also states: ``This information was gathered
	by Gilbert Healton for his personal use and is without
	warranty of any kind whatsoever. Use at your own risk.''
	It is apparent to me that the author has a strong
	pro metric basis.

	By the way, I have it on good authority that the UK
	still uses Imperial measure for their highway system
	and for similar reasons.  Do they still sell ``pints''
	in public houses?

>Philip Taylor


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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