[tex-live] TL and win32

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells Disgusted at Royal-Tunbridge-Wells.Org
Mon Dec 18 21:53:13 CET 2006

Staszek Wawrykiewicz wrote:

> I like that we have tex.exe too for win32 (not linked to pdfetex), but 
> please, if we want TeX Live to be really "live" for so many users, we 
> have to change the default
> parse_first_line = f 
> to
> parse_first_line = t
> in texfm.cnf
> Please, have in mind that TL is for "users", not only for DEK.

I've not yet seen an answer to Staszek's point, so I hope there
is still time for me to offer an opinion.  Let me start by saying
that I am not /certain/ that I understand the effect of Staszek's
proposal, but what I /fear/ is that it would cause *TeX (I avoid
calling it TeX, becaused TeX clearly couldn't/wouldn't do this)
to parse the first line of the first file passed as parameter
or otherwise read by *TeX, and -- if it matches a certain
pattern -- cause *TeX to behave in a manner other than that in
which TeX would behave.

If this is the case (and I sincerely hope I am mistaken), then
I regret but I have to speak out against.  If *TeX is to behave
in a manner dismimilar to TeX, then this behaviour should be
specified by the user, not by the system.  For example, I could
see absolutely nothing wrong in instructing the /user/, if he/she
wants this behaviour, to edit a local copy of texmf.cnf
(presumably in /texmf/local, or wherever local variants of
system files are stored), but -- IMHO -- it would be very
much against the spirit of TeX, and of DEK's wishes -- for
this to be the TeX-Live default.

If I am wrong in my interpretation of the intended behaviour,
then I will very happily stand corrected; but if I am correct,
then I would ask Staszek to defend his assertion and to shew
why the alternative, proposed above, would not be not only
acceptable but actually preferable.

** Phil.

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