[pdftex] Access value of output-directory

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sun Dec 11 00:58:04 CET 2016

    rely on an external tool and shell-escape.
    - http://tex.stackexchange.com/q/136012/10350
    - http://tex.stackexchange.com/q/294931/10350

Indeed, all of these examples use \write18.

My intuitive reaction is that once \write18 is involved, you have full
access to the entire system, and shouldn't (don't) need the engine's
help to get access to the value. Enrico showed one way.

I can agree it would be nice, in a way, but to me, the benefit of a
minor cleanliness doesn't justify a new primitive at this late date.

In another way, I also wouldn't want to do anything to encourage use of

But, it's not up to me alone.  Thanh (and anyone else), what do you


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