[OS X TeX] figures in plain TeX

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Thu Jul 14 00:00:34 CEST 2016

Hi Juan,

On Jul 14, 2016, at 7:28 AM, juan tolosa <juantolo at me.com<mailto:juantolo at me.com>> wrote:

I am baffled. Since I joined the Mac OS TeX community, I was given a method for processing pictures in plain TeX, which has been working seamlessly—until today.
I had transitioned from TeXtures, which used the \special{…} command for inserting pictures, to a more transparent, and more universally accepted method.

In particular, I used
\input miniltx.tex
and next, something like
and then I inserted pictures using, for example

Today, to my surprise, I found the method is not working anymore.

As soon as the \input miniltx.tex is typeset, I get an error. The console displays:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.17 (TeX Live 2016) (preloaded format=pdftex)
 \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode

miniltx.tex  doesn’t define everything from LaTeX.
It only gives you enough to do some basic things.
The more LaTeX packages that you try to use, the more
you’ll encounter things that LaTeX uses, but haven’t been supported in miniltx.
So you need to be prepared to write snippets of patch coding when this occurs.

/usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex/graphics-def/pdftex.def:1569: Unde
fined control sequence.
l.1569      \@ifpackageloaded
                             {pst-pdf}%          hv 20160630

The  graphics-def/  bundle is very, very new — see that date: 2016-06-30 !!!
It is about uniformising the different .def  files for different processing engines.

Here it seems to be calling a revised  pdftex.def  which is now checking
whether some other package  pst-pdf  has been loaded.
Unfortunately the  \@ifpackageloaded  command isn’t supported in  miniltx.tex .

What to do?

If you have an older distribution available, find the  pdftex.def  file from there.
Put a copy into the local directory where you are processing your job.
Hopefully you will have no further problem — this time!

If not, then you’ll need to do some hacking.
Take a copy of the actual  pdftex.def  to your working directory.
Look inside it for how  \@ifpackageloaded  is being used;
that is, how many arguments does it take?
Comment-out those lines.
Test your job. How much further does it get?
Do this kind of thing for each such problem.

Eventually you should be left with something that works —this time!

Even more eventually, you should switch to using the full LaTeX.
Appreciate it’s power and flexibility, and all the good work that others put into it.

Or maybe one of the LaTeX developers will consider the use-case
of  \input  miniltx.tex  when further developing  graphics-def .
That won’t help you today, but maybe in the near future.

Process aborted

Does anyone have an advice?

Hope this helps.


Dr Ross Moore

Mathematics Dept | Level 2, S2.638 AHH
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

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M:+61 407 288 255<tel:%2B61%20409%20125%20670>  |  E: ross.moore at mq.edu.au<mailto:rick.minter at mq.edu.au>


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