[tex-live] Re: Please drop the DVI-with-pdfTeX hack!

Ralf Stubner ralf.stubner at physik.uni-erlangen.de
Wed Sep 7 16:54:00 CEST 2005

David Kastrup <dak at gnu.org> writes:

> Gerben Wierda <Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl> writes:
>> I support doing the switch now or not at all. Waiting does not make
>> the situation any better.
> Same here.  I actually thought we had this in TeXlive2004 already.

Another 'me too'.

I understand that releasing TeX Live 2005 should have highest priority
right now. However, I think the changes needed here are minimal. One
only has to comment '\input pdftex-dvi.tex' in latex.ini and document
the changes. A draft for the latter (partially from teTeX's


Starting with TeX Live 2004, pdfetex was used as default engine to build
formats (with the exception of plain TeX and omega related formats). In
order to ease this transition, some of the new primitives provided by
pdfTeX have been 'masked'. With TeX Live 2005 this is no longer done.
The advantage of this change is that now packages like microtype.sty can
be used to produce DVI files with the microtypographical extensions from
pdfTeX. However, some TeX macros assume that pdfTeX is running in PDF
generation mode if they detect primitives that pdfTeX has introduced
(e.g. \pdfoutput). This is wrong, since pdfTeX can also be used (and is
used) to generate DVI output. A reliable way of detecting PDF output
mode is implemented in ifpdf.sty which works for plain TeX as well as

If you have many legacy documents that you cannot change to using
ifpdf.sty, please uncomment '\input pdftex-dvi.tex' in
TEXMFDIST/tex/latex/config/latex.ini and recreate the formats using the
command 'fmtuitl --all'. However, then packages like microtype.sty can
no longer be used when a DVI file is produced.


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