[pdftex] Typesetting a paper collection

Sebastian Rahtz sebastian.rahtz at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk
Sun Jun 1 17:13:37 CEST 2003

On Tue, 2002-10-15 at 15:15, Laurent Siebenmann wrote:
> experts on this list give only bluser-oriented syntax
> recipes and/or macro package names to solve any given
> practical problem  -- while leaving aside
> mention/explanation of the crucial pdftex primitives on
> which they are based.  Why not give *both* at moderate
> extra cost?

because the cost is not moderate. if one has spent months and years
writing a macro package to solve a problem, explaining all the work
in each email is a *lot* of work.

your own example is, I would claim, equally bad, because
you don't actually give a recipe. you tell us the primitive
to use, and then say:

> Then processing it with pdftex will give a one-page dvi or
> pdf file for page 7.  I'll leave the full automation of
> this for all pages as an exercise -- needing something like
> a \write18 extension or unix shell.

do we have to have the teaching "this isn an exercise for you" approach
to all problems?

> One drawback of this solution is that, to get all the
> one-page pdf's, it takes as many tex runs as there are
> document pages. With just Knuth's tex primitives there is
> no better solution, I suspect, since a single tex run can
> produce only one binary output file.

right. recently I used Hans's excellent package to break up
and rearrange a 1400 page book. If that had needed 1400 runs
of TeX for the whole book, I'd have given up in disgust. Luckily
there are better ways....

> PS. Incidentally, suppose we are extracting a few complex
> tables with their captions and footnotes from a big pdf
> document; the extracted tables should ideally
> hyper-reference the main document text. Seems hackable to
> me! Any ready-made solutions?

since a PDF file does not know what it is called, this is surely
hard in generality?
Sebastian Rahtz      OUCS Information Manager
13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN. Phone +44 1865 283431

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