[tex-live] [NTG-pdftex] Runtime limitations on open files?

David Kastrup dak at gnu.org
Sat Aug 18 14:32:03 CEST 2007

"George N. White III" <gnwiii at gmail.com> writes:

> There are individuals and organizations that are able to use TeX
> productively under Windows and under *x, so I don't except that
> either of these is fundamentally broken.  What is, however, clear,
> is that many people have had or are having bad experiences.  In
> fact, I see this at work, where some users insist that tex on unix
> is totally useless while others assert the same about TeX on
> Windows.  What is the difference?

Note that once somebody has gotten TeX to compile and work, using it
becomes reasonably straightforward.  The really rough penalties are
not on the users, they are on the developers because Windows does not
provide any work environment that would be available anywhere else.

So if you are staying Windows-only, you might be able to find a
compromise working for you.  If you want to develop cross-platform,
Windows is going to be the single most painful thing.

Why do we have so many Windows-only distributions?  Why is it that
among the widely portable distributions, the Windows ports are, if at
all, done by specialists?

Supporting Windows for cross-platform applications is always going to
be extremely expensive with regard to developer resources because on
Windows most things don't give a damn about standards or usability,
and the workaround applications and libraries (where you don't get to
see this) are Windows-only and thus not generally useful for portable
application development.

> I have written some applications that are used on both *x and
> windows.  While it is possible to have a build environment on
> Windows (using Msys), it has been much easier to use a
> cross-compiler under linux, e.g.,
> <http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/pub/Rtools/>.  It would be interesting to
> try using these tools to create a build-win32.sh for pdftex.

A working cross compilation environment would help a _lot_.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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