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

Jonathan Fine J.Fine at open.ac.uk
Fri Sep 9 17:00:50 CEST 2005

"Ralf Stubner" <ralf.stubner at physik.uni-erlangen.de> wrote in message
news:lz4q8uz7h4.fsf at tfkp12.physik.uni-erlangen.de...
> "Jonathan Fine" <J.Fine at open.ac.uk> writes:
> > My understanding is that, if you are right, then microtype.sty and
> > the like are the main beneficiaries of the proposed change.
> I don't see how a LaTeX package should be the beneficiary of anything.
> The beneficiaries of the proposed change are LaTeX users who want to use
> the microtypographic extensions provided by pdfTeX for DVI output or
> especially parallel DVI and PDF output.

I was using the name of a package as a shorthand for its users,
developers, and other stakeholders.  As already noted, it seems that
for the microtypography there are few users.


> I was a bit too optimistic here. As Frank correctly mentioned in his
> reply to your message, microtype.sty not only differentiates between DVI
> and PDF output, but also between different versions of pdfTeX. This is
> necessary since the microtypographic extensions provided by pdfTeX have
> changed over the time. It /might/ be possible to adapt microtype.sty to
> the primitive-masking in TeX Live 2004, but it sounds very error-prone.

TeX (written by Don Knuth) is renowned for its stability.
Many users value this quality very highly.

It seems that the microtypographic capabilities of pdfTeX have not
reached the same degree of stability.

> Relax, this does not concern the TeX lion at all. We are talking about
> the LaTeX format here. The plain TeX format is still produced using 'TeX
> the program' without any extensions.

That plain TeX is unchanged does not allay my concerns regarding the
stability of LaTeX documents.

My concern is that we might be breaking (how many) existing documents,
for the benefit of (how many) users of microtype.sty.

And that there may be a better solution to this evidently continuing


More information about the tex-live mailing list