[tex-k] pdftex.1.gz: --help has basic info that man page lacks

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Mon Sep 27 16:26:36 CEST 2004

forwarded 273084 tex-k at mail.tug.org

Dear TeX-k team, 

where should bug reports about pdfTeX be sent to? The output of pdftex
--help suggests this (more general?) address, the manpage only mentions
the user list pdftex at tug.org under the section heading "BUGS", and on
the pdftex project page at http://sarovar.org/projects/pdftex/ I found
the developer list ntg-pdftex at ntg.nl. 

My mail to the last address has been awaiting moderator approval now
since Saturday morning. Therefore I'm resending it to this one:

Hi pdftex team,

a user of our Debian package containing pdftex suggested some changes to
the man page, along the lines of the text displayed with "pdftex --help".

Dan Jacobson <jidanni at jidanni.org> wrote:

[I pointed him to the sentence that refers the user to the "info file or
manual Web2C]

> f> The complete documentation for this version of TeX can be found
> f> in the info file ...
> $ info pdftex
> gets the manpage.
> Wait, I see, you should say
> The complete documentation for this version of TeX can be found in the
> Info manual Web2C: A TeX implementation.
> or something like that.

You see, the "or" between 'info file' and 'manual' could be understood
in the sense that there are two files.

> f> What wording would you suggest?
> SYNOPSIS should agree with --help:
>  pdftex [OPTION]... [TEXNAME[.tex]] [COMMANDS]

The TEXNAME[.tex] part is missing currently. Probably it's better to use

pdftex [options] [TeX-commands] [texname[.tex] | TeX-commands]

to indicate that one can combine TeX-commands (at the beginning) with an
input file.

> [or use lower case.]

The help message with its uppercase arguments is probably from one of
Knuth's files, isn't it?

> Indeed, you could move the pdftex --help section running from
>         Run pdfTeX on TEXNAME, usually creating TEXNAME.pdf.
> to
>         If no arguments or options are specified, prompt for input.
> to the man page, because it rather belongs there.

Sorry, no patch - I don't understand how pdftex.man is generated from
the m4 file.

Regards, Frank

Frank Küster, Biozentrum der Univ. Basel
Abt. Biophysikalische Chemie

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