[tex-live] TL2004: Technical problems and testing

Petr Olsak petr at olsak.net
Wed May 12 10:29:31 CEST 2004

On Fri, 7 May 2004, Olaf Weber wrote:

> Basically, the automatic loading of cp8bit.tcx (a horrible kludge at
> best) interferes with loading the xord/xchr/xprn arrays for encTeX.
> The way it works, when loading a tcx you always lose whatever
> xord/xchr/xprn is in the format file.  So if cp8bit.tcx is loaded by
> default, then encTeX breaks.
> Given the amount of feedback I've had, I've mainly gone on my sense of
> what would be useful, usable, and (I think) comprehensible.
> - Currently, the code distinguishes between writing to the terminal
>   and log on the one hand, and other writes (\write) on the other.
> - For writes to the terminal and log, isprint(3) function is used, and
>   this is locale-dependent.

I disagree with any locale dependences! I have got experiences with many
terminals, where /home is shared, tex-binary is shared, tex-data is shared
but results are different due to locales. This is very big confusion
for users.

There exist programs which scann the log output from TeX.
The results of these programs will be depend on momentary locale setting.
This is very bad idea.

TeX is system independent. I dont know, if all possible operating systems
have locale available. I mean that it si not true. Why TeX will
become locale dependent only on systems where locales are implemented?

We can compare TeX with a calculator with well defined input
and output. For example input: 1+1, otput: 2. I mean that
this conversion from input to oputput have not to
be depend on something as locales.

> - For \write, the setup is as follows:
>   - By default, printable means printable ASCII, codes [32..127].
>     This is Knuth's original definition.
>   - Giving the -8bit option changes the default to make all characters
>     printable.
>   - In a TCX file you can specify a third value, to explicitly set
>     a character as printable or non-printable.  This is the way to
>     make characters non-printable if -8bit is used as well.
>   - The xord/xchr/xprn arrays are always saved in the format, for all
>     engines except those in the Omega family.  Thus, a TCX or -8bit
>     given in INI mode sets the defaults for that format.
>   - If a TCX is specified, it overrules whatever is in the format.
>   - If -8bit is specified, it overrules whatever is in the format.
>   - The \xchr, \xord, \xprn primitives are only available in encTeX.

OK. It seems that -8bit is equivalent to -translate-file=cp8bit.

Best regards

Petr Olsak

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