[pdftex] current filename and current filedate ?

Heiko Oberdiek oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de
Sat Dec 20 20:42:32 CET 2003

On Fri, Dec 19, 2003 at 08:46:13PM -0500, ivo welch wrote:

> hi guys:  I hear the chorus, but I think you are wrong.  Yes, I could
> learn RCS for myself, although I will more likely write a job
> preprocessor in perl.

For your feature RCS is not necessary. You can also provide the
information at the command line (latex '\def\FileDate{...}\input{...}')
or in a separate file or ...

> * One main argument in favor of LaTeX over WYSIWYG is its ability to
> handle and manage long documents fairly well.  We do not bundle RCS with
> LaTeX routinely.  I do not believe that we/books routinely consider
> revision control a basic part of our latex systems.    Do we really need
> to add the RCS level of complexity for a feature that is fairly close to
> the basic mission of latex?

Independent of that feature, it is very silly in my opinion not to
benefit from a version control system such as CVS (I prefer CVS
over RCS). TeX source files are basically text files. They are very
well supported by RCS or CVS.

Some literature hints:
* "Open Source Deveopment with CVS" by Karl Fogel and Moshe Bar:
http://cvsbook.red-bean.com/
* Homepage of CVS:
http://www.cvshome.org/

> * RCS may not be portably available elsewhere, so if I go RCS, do I lose
> the ability to transfer my documents elsewhere?

No. Most open source software project are using CVS (based on RCS, but
better, because it supports multiple users). CVS is available for
many many platforms and operating systems (including Unix, Windows, Mac).

> * Programming-wise, it would not be a big step to add two macros for
> \currentfile and \currentfiledate.  There is no operating system on
> which this would likely be difficult.   Are there any modern C
> implementations without a basic Unix-like stat() call?

* An input *file* is not necessary at all for TeX. You can use
standard input instead, for example.
* The next wishes will be file size, permissions, file type, owner, ...
But these all things including file name and date are not
primary tasks for a text processor.

> * We already have facilities inside latex to get the overall \jobname
> (really a filename).  We also already have facilities for the current
> date/time.
> So, if we can have \write18, \include, and \jobname, \currentfile and
> \currentfiledate is not very different.

TeX is frozen, so there is no chance to get new features.
But you can ask the programmers of TeX extensions/replacement
projects: e-TeX, NTS, ExTeX, ...

Yours sincerely
Heiko <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de>
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