[tex-live] Re: Please drop the DVI-with-pdfTeX hack!
George N. White III
aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Wed Sep 7 01:48:29 CEST 2005
On Tue, 6 Sep 2005, David Kastrup wrote:
> [...] The whole point of \pdfoutput from the start was that
> it could take two different values. PDFTeX _never_ was PDF-only.
Except in the minds of many, probably most, users. Users in my lab have
been quite surprised to learn that you can generate .dvi with pdftex, and
they don't yet fully trust pdftex, so in most cases, when they want .dvi
they expect to use tex (and are starting to ask why they see pdfetex in
log files). The misconception was reinforced by editors or
front-ends (4allTeX, WinEDT) that have a button or switch for .dvi or .pdf
output implemented by switching programs. Pdftex itself says:
$ pdfetex --help
Usage: pdfetex [OPTION]... [TEXNAME[.tex]] [COMMANDS]
or: pdfetex [OPTION]... \FIRST-LINE
or: pdfetex [OPTION]... &FMT ARGS
Run pdfeTeX on TEXNAME, usually creating TEXNAME.pdf.
output-format=FORMAT use FORMAT for job output; FORMAT is `dvi' or `pdf'
Users who don't use command-line tex have no idea where to put
The principle of one surprise at a time says let users get comfortable
with seeing pdfetex in logs of jobs that create .dvi files, then spring
the primitives on them in the next release. The "\normalPRIMITIVE" hack
lets the few who understand how to use them get on with things, and
should not be surprised when the "normal" prefix is dropped.
George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
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