[pdftex] pdtex + latex + cygwin (or linux)

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 22:46:55 CEST 2007

On 7/23/07, Kewley, J (John) <j.kewley at dl.ac.uk> wrote:

> > > I am keen to try out the various typgraphical extensions and
> > > justification  alternatives that I have read are available
> > with pdftex.
> > >
> > > I write in LaTeX, mainly under cygwin.
> Thanks for the prompt reply

Pure luck -- you posting appeared in my inbox just after I had
started test runs for a new version of our "mission critical" software.
Answering email is more interesting that trying to figure out why
the software is dumping core on SGI IRIX64 (but nowhere else).

> > Disclaimer: I gave up on Cygwin a while ago.  I get similar
> > performance
> > using linux in a virtual machine, but without the minor
> > incompatibilities
> > and glitches in Cygwin, so what I say may be outdated.
> I have cygwin on all my machines and am very happy with the environment
> it provides.
> > Cygwin provided a port of the unix teTeX system, which did include
> > an early version of pdftex, but is no lnger being maintained upstream.
> > You would do better to work with a current version of pdftex
> > as provided
> > by a mainstream TeX system (TeX Live, MikTeX, Win32TeX, etc.).
> Yes, I couldn't get that to work with the new contructs I was trying out.
> > It is really quite simple to get linux going in the free
> > VMware player.
> > ...
> >
> > If your workplace is like mine, you can find very robust PIII machines
> > (Dell OptiPlex GX1) gathering dust.  For someone working mostly via
> > the command-line, linux on a PIII is more usable than command line
> > (Cygwin or linux in a VM) tools running on a P4.
> I haven't looked into VMware yet. Our machines are centrally administered and
> we haven't rolled out virtualisation for Windows yet. I did have dual boot at one
> point, but find it is far easier to copy files from Windows to cygwin to
> remote linux machines to USB memory sticks all trivially.
> > I would not recommend trying to install pdftex outside any
> > distribution.
> Oh, thats a shame.
> > Pdftex isn't much use without the texmf trees.  There have been some
> > significant and incompatible changes, so you can't just drop a current
> > pdftex into an old tetex system, and there have been many improvements
> > to the macro packages, fonts, etc. in the standard trees.
> I have the old texmf trees from the cygwin implementation, but apart from
> executables don't know where to "drop stuff".

By are the leading cause of problems users can't resolve for
themselves are when some old version of a file gets found by
(la)tex.  Make sure the files can't be found by accident, and be
careful when a run complains about missing  "suspect.sty" --
copying something called "suspect.sty" from an old texmf tree
may do more harm than good.

> > > Does anyone know the easiest way to install pdftex so it doesn't
> > > interfere with the existing [La]TeX installation that is
> > already there for cygwin.
> > > This would probably mean installing it within my own space, i.e. a
> > > non-root build  and install.
> >
> > Both tetex and tex live take the approach that everything should go
> > in a self-contained tree.  Some linux distributions don't do this, but
> > instead mix the tex configuration into the other configuration files.
> > This has advantages in terms of package management, and does not
> > make it impossbile to install a self-contained TeX Live or
> > other system
> > on a linux system than uses the merged configuration approach.
> > I prefer to install the self-contained tree as a regular
> > user, so root is
> > not needed to do maintenance.
> Thats sounds like what I want - self contained, local version.
> > Unlike tetex (which was really unix-centric) TeX Live does try to
> > support a wide range of platforms.   If you don't like my approach
> > (debian linux "unstable" distro has texlive packages) then you will
> > have to build TeX Live  in cygwin (assuming someone hasn't done
> > it already), and contribute any needed patches to upstream
> > maintainers.
> I have been trying TeTeX, but haven't worked my way through all
> the installation yet.

I you get that to work, you stand a pretty good chance of being
able to build the key parts of TeX Live from sources. I have done
it back when we were using tetex on unix.   TeX Live borrows
heavily from teTeX.

> > > I have a full installation of cygwin. I am familiar with writing and
> > > using LaTeX, but not the vagaries of how fonts are installed.
> > >
> > > In the past I have used dvips followed by ps2pdf on cygwin
> >
> > With a modern TeX, many people can work without ever
> > encountering a .dvi file.   While you loose the ability to use
> > arbitrary PostScript code (e.g., things like pstricks),
> > you are able to use .ps figures that don't meet the EPS
> > constraints (just convert to  pdf figures).
> I don't need the dvi nor the ps file. I am happy with pdf only which
> I have been getting for the past couple of years using the old
> tools that come with cygwin.
> One final requirement is that I need to produce LaTeX files that others can
> edit, compile and proof-read without neccessarily having pdftex.

With current TeX distros, there is only pdftex.  Pdftex has always had the
option of generating .dvi output, and one of the changes is that it was
necessary to fix packages that assumed tex=.dvi out and pdftex-.pdf out.
This will likely be a major source of pain for people who have been
stuck at teTeX and now have large local texmf trees where they have
been accumulating packages that were useful at some point in the
past, but have not been updated recently to get  proper pdftex support.

If you have mastered EPS, you can provide both EPS and PDF versions
of figures.  Then \includegraphics{basename} will pick up "basename.eps"
when using .dvi output mode of pdftex, and "basename.pdf" when using
the .pdf output mode.   Now I'm encountering people who think "my PS
figures made good .pdf versions, so they must be EPS", only to find that
dvi--> ps no longer works.

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

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