[OS X TeX] The `%!TEX TSprogram = TeXify' line used in TeXShop ...

tkiffe tom at kiffe.com
Thu Feb 14 04:32:34 CET 2008

On Feb 13, 2008, at 4:20 PM, David Watson wrote:

> This is not the first time this issue has come up. It appears that 
> their AutoTeX engine uses "file magic" to determine if the file is of 
> valid type. Perhaps the arxiv.org maintainers could add a
> %!TEX
> description to their "magic" file (on Mac OS X, at 
> /usr/share/file/magic) or perhaps the authors of AutoTeX could edit 
> their script to look for that, but then that would require the 
> archiv.org people to upgrade.

For decades just %! has been the "magic number" for Postscript files 
and Postscript data streams.
Any additional data after the %! simply specifies additional 
information about the Postscript code
contained in the file and is not required.

It is TeXshop, with its %!TEX, that is at fault. This is not a "magic 
number" used to identify
a type of file. It is a TeXShop hack attempting to pass various 
parameters to TeXShop
from source files and is incompatible with the use of magic numbers.

The developers of TeXShop really need to change %!TEX to something 
else, %%!TEX has been
suggested on this list. Of course, this would cause backward 
compatibility issues for some
TeXShop users. Those affected should not blame anyone but the 
developers of TeXShop who
did not consider all of the ramifications of using %!TEX.

TeXShop is not the new gold standard and it is arrogant to suggest that 
rest of the world should conform to or even recognize TeXShop hacks.


> On Feb 13, 2008, at 3:46 PM, Jung-Tsung Shen wrote:
>> I was submitting a manuscript to http://arxiv.org/ earlier today. The
>> files were one main tex file and three eps figures. My main tex file
>> contained the following two lines at the very beginning:
>> %!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
>> %!TEX TSprogram = TeXify
>> All the files passed the submission check and could be processed
>> without problems. (The system declines the submission if there's any
>> problems in processing the tex files) But when I tried to view the
>> generated PDF file, the system kept triggering the remote server and
>> simply failed to generate it. While I was trying to see where it went
>> wrong (I thought it's due to figures since I had to compress them a
>> lot to meet the file size requirement), I got a message from arXiv's
>> very helpful administrator, saying
>> "Your main LaTeX source file contained a PostScript %! line, which was
>> misinterpreted by our AutoTeX engine.  We have removed this line from
>> your LaTeX file, and your submission now correctly generates a PDF
>> file."
>> I also submitted the same paper, with the above two lines, to one
>> journal of APS (Americal Physical Society) and it went through and
>> generated PDF without any problem.
>> Except manually removing the lines, is there any other way to make the
>> tex file mostly portable? [The answer probably is not ...]
>> Thanks.
>> JT
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