[tex-live] TL2004: Technical problems and testing

Olaf Weber olaf at infovore.xs4all.nl
Thu May 13 00:56:27 CEST 2004

Karl Berry writes:

>>    combination of TCX plus -8bit is a better match than locales.

> So you are proposing to make those options (-8bit + tcx files) also
> affect tty/log file output, instead of using isprint?

That is the only serious alternative, as far as I'm concerned.

> I am not sure about this.  Log/tty output was never meant to be
> system-independent.

Agreed.  And they are/were intended for human consumption rather than
to be processed by a machine, which explains some of the oddities in

> Petr, you say users are confused because when everything is shared, but
> the locale is different, the output is different.  I can understand
> that, in a way.  But in another way, when the locale is different, why
> wouldn't the tty/log output be different?  I mean, you wouldn't expect
> "cp --help" to output the same string when LANG=fr and LANG=C.

> Also, I suspect some users will be confused if they have LC_CTYPE=C and
> get 8-bit output on their terminal *like they never did before*.

> On the other hand, perhaps most users would prefer it.  I suppose 8-bit
> tty/log output would not actually cause much consternation, anyway,
> since it will only come about when the document is using 8-bit
> characters anyway.  So I don't object vociferously.

Basically, with plain TeX mode the 8bit stuff should be off.  With
latex, my understanding is that people want it on, and same for
context.  But in both of these cases, only eight-bit input will get
you eight-bit output.

> If we do this, we should make sure there is a way to revert back to
> 7-bit output. I suppose --trans=7bit.tcx would suffice.

You'd have to write a 7bit.tcx that actively suppresses printability
for all but the range 32..127 inclusive.  Easy to to with the new
code, but it would have to be done.

> One other question: are any settings regarding this available in
> texmf.cnf?  I think that could be very useful.  It can be much more
> convenient to provide a config file when overrides are necessary than to
> change every command line invocation, let alone rebuild formats.

There are currently _no_ settings for this in texmf.cnf.

Olaf Weber

               (This space left blank for technical reasons.)

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