[OS X TeX] The metadata is in the log file

Ross Moore ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Tue Sep 14 13:06:56 CEST 2004

Hi all,

On 14/09/2004, at 5:36 PM, Jérôme Laurens wrote:

> Le 14 sept. 04, à 06:03, Will Robertson a écrit :
>> On 14 Sep 2004, at 6:26 AM, Joachim Kock wrote:
>>> The slogan is that the metadata is in the log file!
>> An implied root file. Very elegant!
> It does not really solve the meta data problem because when you 
> archive,
> you generally trash all the .log, .aux and so on.
> So when you later come back to this archive you have no available 
> metadata in the log because there is no log.

I know people do this -- trash the auxiliary files, that is --- and the 
latest additions
to TeXshop make this easier. They seem to think that by removing these 
files it makes
the directory "cleaner" or "saves space"; besides, they can always be 
recovered when needed.

But in my opinion that is a fallacy.
They can only be recovered exactly if the same processor and packages 
are available
when you come to work with the document again later --- possibly many 
years later.

We *know* that is not the case.

Just today the latest  pdftex  was announced, and it changes the way a 
of things work. In particular it changes the search paths for fonts, 
packages, etc.

Personally, I like to know *exactly* what was used when an old document 
was last
processed. When it doesn't work out-of-the-box in a new situation, I 
can see from
the old logs how it used to work, and thus am better placed to adjust 
to the new

IMHO, the extra space taken by these files is worth it, for long-term 

> Moreover it relies on some de facto syntax of the log, which is not 
> documented at all and not officially supported.
> If we ever happen to have a localized version of TeX, the log file 
> will be localized and the log file should be parsed accordingly.

I cannot see that the way input-file names are printed to the log is 
likely to change,
except for the question of giving full paths, or not.

Besides, it's more a matter of searching for specific things within the 
log, than trying
to interpret each line to assess what it indicates has happened. Any 
attempt to rely
on a particular "syntax of the log" is surely off-beam.

> Finally, if the format file is patched and decides to \wlog something 
> else this method is lost.
> Finally, this trick seems extremely elegant as an hint when no other 
> information is available.
> The question is now how does it cost to implement that?

Just my 2c.


Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia                                  fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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