Auto incremented document number

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Hellenic-Institute.Uk
Sat Feb 20 12:27:16 CET 2021

Jonathan Fine wrote:

> Philip wrote:
>     I still do not understand why anything more than "TeX out of the
>     box" is required.
> This is a statement of fact, that I don't wish to dispute. However, I 
> think the question is being discussed on the basis of good taste and 
> being sensible. And that much depends on the context, and the 
> preferences, skills and opinions of those who create and support the 
> production system.

OK, we can know nothing of the preferences and opinions of those 
who create and support the production system, but we do know one fact 
about their skills, or at least about the skills of the person who asked 
the question in the first place.  We know, because he sent his message 
to the TeXhax list, that his skill-set includes TeX. Given that, and no 
other information, why not a solution predicated solely on the use of 
TeX, especially as the solution proposed makes no use of any advanced 
TeX features whatsoever ?

> I fear that there are many problems in having TeX increment a counter 
> that has a significance across the whole system. For example, what if 
> producing the report requires several typesetting runs.

A valid point, and not one that my proposed solution would directly address.

> One could program TeX to maintain a database, much like AWK can be so 
> programmed. And what we have here is a database of sorts. The 
> 'requirement' to use something other than TeX arises from things 
> outside TeX, namely the system that holds the data that is to be typeset.

Again, we know only two things about the system.  It supports a file 
system, and it supports TeX  Therefore let us use the file system and 
TeX rather than anything more complex.

Philip Taylor
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