[tex-k] Bug report for the 2029 TeX tune-up - Error-message is expected but the text of the error-message is incorrect

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed Jun 30 01:01:14 CEST 2021

I agree that the original message is inaccurate in many circumstances. It
does not even take any expansion trickery. If the input file consists of:
then "File ended" is just as wrong. (Don A pointed this out to me
off-list. He thought of "Input ended ..." or "File input ended ...",
in addition to your "Processing of file ended ...".)

Nevertheless, I do not want to change the message in web2c. First, there
are plenty of books, articles, posts, over the past decades that discuss
error messages. Changing the text now at this late date seems like a
cause of unnecessary confusion to me, outweighing the benefit from the
tiny increment of added correctness. (I imagine people wondering, "Why
is the message different? Is there some other case that emits the
original message?" Etc. At least I would, if I came across it in the

Second, it sets a precedent. It's not unusual for Knuth's error messages
to be imprecise/imperfect/wrong/missing completely/whatever. I don't
feel it's desirable to go down the path of refining error reporting down
to the last syllable in non-Knuthian TeX.

As for nobug.html, the purpose of that page is to list bug reports which
are (typically) valid, but which Knuth has nevertheless declined to do
anything about (either specifically or as a general rule). "Not a bug
for Knuth." I did not intend to deem your bug report as invalid in some
absolute sense.

Certainly, "report 1" and "report 2" are completely different. I moved
the report 1 link to after "effects". --karl

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