[tex-k] Potential bugs in TFM loading in TeX

tttex at mailbox.org tttex at mailbox.org
Sun Feb 13 20:46:35 CET 2022

Hi Karl,

Thank you for your extensive answer. You are right that Knuth's tune-up of 2008
contains an excellent discussion of where to draw the line between those bugs
that should be fixed and those that should not.

I found that this excerpt from that tune-up summarizes the stance regarding
pathological cases well:

      Let me also observe that I never intended TEX to be immune to vicious
      “cracker attacks”; I only wish it to be robust under reasonable use by
      people who are trying to get productive work done. Almost every limit can
      be abused in extreme cases, and I don’t think it useful to go to extreme
      pain to prevent such things.

Whether the conditions that can trigger these overflows in TFM file loading are
still in the realm of reasonable input, I leave to your judgement. But I
suppose if fonts with a design size of more than 64 pt are not in regular use,
it would be hard to trigger these overflows under any "normal" usage.


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