[pdftex] Re: current filename and current filedate ?

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Dec 19 20:54:18 CET 2003

On Fri, 19 Dec 2003, ivo welch wrote:

> hi chaps:  thanks for the advice.  unfortunately, I do not know RCS, and
> neither do many other latex users.  it would seem that some additional
> latex macros that add this functionality would not break security or
> anything else, and would go a long way towards single-user RCS-like
> functionality in this respect, without requiring it.  The "write-to-file
> and read back" methods are truly ugly.

But they avoid OS-dependencies in TeX itself, which is another sort of
beauty, and part of what makes TeX so robust.

> I have never figured out the appropriate route to suggest TeX feature
> inclusions.  don knuth seems to be mostly out of the picture.  who does
> not appeal to for such minor additions?

RCS is very easy to use.  There is a link for Win32 users at winedt.com.
Getting filenames and timestamps is system dependent.  TeX needs to work
on a wide range of systems and maintaining TeX should not require the
maintainers to know about or have access to a variety of platforms.

It is a serious mistake to add features that are merely useful or
time-saving to TeX.  The few individuals who maintain TeX have enough to
do already, so their time is infinitely more valueable than yours or mine.
RCS may be overkill for your needs, but it is used by many more people
than just TeX users, so it is robust and widely available.  TeX is a
relatively esoteric tool and needs as much as possible to leverage tools
used by a wider community.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

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