[pdftex] Proposal for new feature.

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Tue Apr 12 17:53:47 CEST 2005

All forms of TeX including pdftex are inherently command line
programs. I am trying to write a guide for beginners where they
can execute e.g., pdftex or texexec by pushing a button on a
button bar window. Setting up the window is easy in  TCL/Tk. But when the
pdftex run fails, there is no pdf output. Commands such as
texexec --batch or pdftex -halt-on-error will still fail to
produce any output. 

What I propose is a switch that when set and an error
occurs insert a \bye command just before the error. That way the
user would have an output pdf file truncated at the point of the

It is easy of course to just tell the newcomer to use a command
line and read the messages but a great many people are
intimidated by the very name of "command line." So I am trying
to throw a cloak of invisibility over it with a little button
bar: press this one and get an editor session, press this one
and create the pdf and press this one and view the pdf. 

In TCL/Tk one can use the expect-send facility to handle error
messages but for MSWindows users the expect-send software is not

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

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