[pdftex] [Support Request] Cross-compilation of pdftex

john Culleton John at wexfordpress.com
Mon Oct 31 00:09:20 CET 2011

On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 23:45:04 +0200
Kevin Jonas Young <youngkevinjonas at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi support team of pdftex,
> I tried contacting the pdftex developers with my question, however I
> received no answer.
> First of all, thank you infinitely for writing and maintaining such a
> great piece of software, which pdftex is!
> I hope I can provide my share of service to the TEX community with
> what follows.
> My wish is to cross compile pdftex against the Android-ARM target
> (using NDK), because I can't stand the fact that for
> tablets there exists simply no good typesetting software. I had a look
> at your build system, but for a layman
> it's easy to get confused.
> Therefore I'd be thankful if some of you developers could provide me
> with a rundown on your build system and its
> complexity - for in order to compile pdftex with the Android SDK, I
> need to replicate the steps of your build system
> using the NDK build system (simplified makefiles).
> Or do you have better suggestions?
> Thanks a bunch!
> Kevin
TeX was not designed to work on, or produce output for, online devices
like tablets.

Operational pdftex creates dvi or pdf files only. Either format
converts easily to Postscript. To get to operational pdftex for an OS
not falling in the MSWIN, OS X Linux or BSD families a compiler may
need to be written. 

The original programming for TeX was done in a special language
invented by Donald Knuth. I don't know what it is written in now. I
suspect C. 

Specialized online devices tend to use variants of the html language,
such as moibus, kindle or ePub. 

Is it doable? of course. But the Great Wall of China was a doable
project also. When your tablet will support pdf then pdftex (or Context
etc.) will produce files for that device. 

John Culleton
Free list of books for self-publishers:

"Create Book Covers with Scribus"

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