Bottom margin vs. descenders question

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Hellenic-Institute.Uk
Sat Jun 27 07:58:16 CEST 2020

Hallo Reinhard —

> just for the record, with pdftex-based formats you can save a
> \newdimen with
>    \hoffset = \dimexpr \hoffset - \pdfhorigin \relax
>    \voffset = \dimexpr \voffset - \pdfvorigin \relax
> You can even save the arithmetic as well with
>    \pdfhorigin = 0pt
>    \pdfvorigin = 0pt
> These variables are set to '1 true in' in pdftexconfig.tex, which is
> read by {pdf,lua}tex.ini and thus go into the format files.  As far as
> I can see they are not available in XeTeX, unfortunately.

Thank you for that most interesting piece of information.  Not a day 
goes by when I do not ask myself how on earth Don came to make what I 
regard as the totally crazy and arbitrary decision that the page origin 
should be (1", 1").  It has been said, I know, that he just wanted TeX 
to "do what is right" for the simplest piece of code (e.g., "Hallo 
world\end") but that is so at variance with the rest of the philosophy 
of TeX that it strikes me as insane.  It is good to know that, in PdfTeX 
at least, the origin is a configuration option, but unless/until that 
feature makes its way into XeTeX I am sadly unlikely to be able to make 
use of it (other than for pure interest).

** Phil.
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