[tex-eplain] Does xeplain.tex still exist?

Jim Diamond Jim.Diamond at acadiau.ca
Mon Jun 22 16:51:46 CEST 2009

On Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 18:39 (-0500), Karl Berry wrote:

>> But I have a feeling that distributing just xeplain.tex will actually
>> confuse people

> Oleg, I believe Jim was primarily suggesting that xeplain.tex be
> distributed as a plain file, apart from the .zip, rather than suggesting
> that eplain.tex not be distributed.

> Jim, FYI, the current setup is what I requested from Oleg, specifically
> for CTAN and TL.

Well, I am sure that those of you doing the heavy lifting here have
thought out all the issues much better than me.  So I don't want to
rock the boat needlessly, but I guess I would be happy if xeplain.tex
was easier to find.

One of the things that made it difficult for me was my presumption
that when I go to CTAN and download the eplain.tar.lzma file that I
would be getting everything.  Instead, I have to go somewhere else and
play with a zip file, of all things.

> I am very sympathetic with making source files easier to find.
> Ordinarily I would want xeplain.tex to be on its own, a plain file in
> the source directory.  But in this case there's a complication because
> of the other files that comprise eplain.tex: if someone is looking
> around for the file, say, "ifpdf.sty", it is confusing rather than
> helpful for it to show up in the eplain source directory.  They should
> find it in the ifpdf directories.
Indeed.  Although I notice that the ifpdf.sty in the eplain zip file
is some number of versions old.  When I saw that I wondered whether it
just hasn't kept up with changes, or whether a newer version of
ifpdf.sty breaks something in eplain.

> The CTAN people received a number of user complaints about this before
> we adopted the current scheme of zipping up the sources.  We could
> leave *just* xeplain.tex outside the zip, or maybe everything except the
> "shared" sources, but that seems confusing too, as Oleg said.  Hmm.

>> If we split the sources, the users will have to locate all the
>> dependencies for themselves.  Furthermore, if/when distributions
>> start compiling combinations ...

> Right, that's the problem with using \input.  I continue to believe it's
> better to merge what we use into one eplain.tex.  This was the reason I
> did it in the first place; compute power wasn't the issue even 20 years
> ago :).

>> In my opinion, it is far better to add a clearer note to the top of
>> eplain.tex directing people to the complete sources.

> Yes, that would be good.  Also in the README and the manual.

Even if the TL people don't want to include xeplain.tex, would it not
be reasonable to have it in the eplain.tar.lzma which one finds at
http://tug.ctan.org/cgi-bin/ctanPackageInformation.py?id=eplain ?


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