[OS X TeX] Re: [MacTeX] TeXShop's %& ugly bug

Bob Kerstetter bkerstetter at mac.com
Fri Sep 10 16:15:55 CEST 2004

As a TeXShop user, you can select the encoding in the preferences and 
the save as dialog. You can select the program in the preferences and 
menus. The below mentioned methods are processing alternatives.

I don't understand the nature of the problem. For the sake of the 
discussion, it might be good to overlook the references to "preemptive, 
closed and selfish design". I don't see how name calling helps solve 

On Sep 10, 2004, at 2:34 AM, Jérôme Laurens wrote:

> Malcolm Ross says
> "In TeXShop 1.35 the user has the option of setting the program and 
> the encoding at the beginning of the .tex or .ltx file to be typeset, 
> and I find it convenient to place the two lines below at the top of my 
> file:
> %&program=xelatex
> %&encoding=UTF-8 Unicode"
> I once asked the list for the best way to add this kind of meta data 
> to the TeX source file.
> I find intrusive this kind of policy and wanted to take advise from 
> real users before deliberately polluting the source.
> No one answered except Gerben Wierda who cleverly pointed out that the 
> syntax of the meta data should in no way interfere with other existing 
> stuff.
> This is why iTeXMac defined its own syntax and replaced the %& prefix 
> by the %!iTeXMac.
> It seems that TeXShop developpers don't care about this kind of 
> problems.
> The choice of extending abusively the widely adopted %&format first 
> line syntax is a really bad idea.
> For example, ask latest OzTeX 5.2 to typeset the following Plain TeX 
> file
> %&encoding=whatever
> Hello world
> \bye
> You will be answered
> This is TeX, Version 3.14159 (no format preloaded)
> **&encoding=UTF-8 Sans_titre.tex
> Sorry, I can't find the format file: encoding=whatever.fmt
> Memory allocated: 2784638 bytes.
> Time elapsed: 0.0 seconds.
> We cannot consider this is a bug in OzTeX, it is definitely TeXShop's 
> preemptive, closed and selfish design.
> So it might be advisable to avoid this new "feature" as long as it is 
> not implemented in a safer way.
> I am wondering if this kind of weird/bad implementation (amongst 
> others) could not be avoided by the TeXShop developper team just by 
> modestly taking advise from the rest of the world. For example, they 
> probably had better participate to the TeX wrapper discussion we had 
> last year.
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