[pdftex] Pdftex & soul

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Wed Apr 23 16:36:47 CEST 2003

On Wednesday 23 April 2003 10:10 am, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> john culleton wrote to thierry templier:
> > BTW you are apparently using pdflatex, not pdftex. There are those of us
> > who do indeed use pdftex and pdfetex.
> we all use pdftex or pdfetex, whether we're using plain, latex, or context
> with it.  why else would we be posting to the pdftex list?
> i do wish you would stop wittering about these imagined distinctions of the
> macro packages that you use.
You are of course right about what pdftex is.

Unfortuately the word pdftex, like the word tex, has two meanings. I use it to
mean the command you put on the command line.  It is the user interface that
counts. If I use the command ``pdftex'' I get an entity that responds in
certain ways, and if I use the command ``pdflatex'' I get a completely
different set of responses to my file.  So when a person says they have a
pdftex problem when in fact they have a latex problem, not peculiar to pdf
anything, then perhaps they have come to the wrong mailing list. And any
solution proposed that works with pdftex, pdfetex or in most cases with
Context, may not be relevant to latex or pdflatex. 

So I do ask that those who have a pdflatex problem identify it as such.
We can reserve the word "pdftex" to refer to what is described in the
Pdftex Manual. It just saves confusion.

Best wishes,

John Culleton

> the only thing that may validly be described as "pdftex" on its own is
> what you get with the -i switch -- what used to be desribed as
> "initex" -- since that's the only thing that's _not_ tainted with
> some macro package.

More information about the pdftex mailing list