[pdftex] Proposal for new feature.

John R. Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Wed Apr 13 16:35:35 CEST 2005

On Tuesday 12 April 2005 09:11 pm, Heiko Oberdiek wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2005 at 03:53:47PM +0000, John R. Culleton wrote:
> > 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.
> \bye is a macro and can cause other errors.

> > That way the
> > user would have an output pdf file truncated at the point of the
> > error.
> The kind of error can be so severe, that it prevents a valid
> pdf output file. I think, an invalid output file is even worse.
> And if the error occurs so early that there is nothing to
> output, you can get again "an output file without pages"
> (= no output file).
> Yours sincerely
>   Heiko <oberdiek at uni-freiburg.de>

All very true. But the file below produced a valid pdf. It
skipped over the errors and kept on going. 

Now is the time for all good
to come to the aid of their party.  

This is using the --batch switch proposed by HH. Unfortunately it
didn't indicate the point of the error, except by an extra space
between two words. So I am still looking for a switch that will
stop the compilation, like pdftex's -stop-on-error but create a
valid pdf up to that point, like texexec --batch.  The newbie
could view the resultant pdf, note where it stopped, and then
search for an error just after that point. 

\bye is indeed a macro, but a fairly robust one. It might
destroy the completion of of another macro or break in the middle
of a box, but a readable pdf should still appear. 

I will cogitate some more. Maybe my whole approach is defective.

Thanks for all replies. 

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters

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