# [texworks] [XeTeX] Overfull boxes return status of 0 in XeTeX

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Mar 19 03:25:02 CET 2016

On 2016-03-17 at 23:58:34 +0000, Philip Taylor wrote:

>
>
> Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>
> > Phil assumed that scanning the log file is time consuming and
> > thus suggested configurable exit values.  But as Zdeněk already
> > pointed out, scanning the log file is not time consuming at all.
>
> Whether or not scanning the log file is time-consuming is not
> really my point.  The key point is this : only *TeX (where *TeX is
> any derivative of TeX; I do not wish to suggest modifying TeX
> itself out of respect for Don's wishes) /knows/ whether (e.g.,) an
> overfull \hbox has been generated during a *TeX run; other
> utilities can try to guess (e.g., by scanning the log file, or the
> DVI file, or the PDF, or whatever) but they cannot /know/.
> Therefore *TeX is the correct part of the system to modify in order
> to inform subsequent utilities whether or not such an error has
> occurred.

It's true that only TeX /knows/ whether bad boxes occurred during a
TeX run.  But TeX passes this knowledge to the log file, hence nothing
is lost and the log file even provides more information (line numbers).

Thus, if TeXworks wants to make use of the information, it's not
sufficient to determine *that* there is an overfull box, it's
necessery to determine *where* it is (filename and line number).

Emacs/AUCTeX supports such features for more than two decades
successfully.

The most important reason I disagree with your suggestion is that not
only zillions of engines have to be modified, but changes at various
places in the souce code are necessary as well.  I have the impression
that you underestimate the necessary effort and overestimate the
benefit.  And I still doubt that there is a benefit at all.

IMO the current behavior of TeX is perfect.  It aborts with a non-zero
exit status if it doesn't know how to proceed.  Everything else can be
extracted from the log file.  No need to evaluate exit codes.

Regards,
Reinhard

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Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
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